Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Share some Foxy Love

So what is this #foxylove that's everywhere on twitter, Facebook and Instagram?

My wife and I have six kids including 17 month old twin boys.
Celebrating our 5th year wedding anniversary recently it occurred to us that we haven't gone out for the night without ANY of the kids in almost 2 years.
Don't laugh you just don't realise how fast time flys and how busy things get.

So to celebrate out first adventure out for the night we are planning on staying at the lovely Terrace Hotel, somewhere I experienced by myself as part of the social media launch #socmedsleepover, and dining at The Brown Fox.

Why the Brown Fox??? I saw some comments from them on social media while being a part of the #socmedsleepover and noticed that although trying hard to keep up they were relatively new to it.

So I have taken it upon myself to help them out and increase their social network awareness across all forms including their Facebook page, their Instagram portfolio @thebrownfoxperth and their twitter account @thebrownfox_.

They believe in social media that much that they're willing to put up a $100 to use at the brown fox to make it worth your while if you help out too.

I'm Paul Dunning on Facebook and @deadplayground on twitter and Instagram and my wife is @jodiedunning on Instagram and twitter.

We look forward to meeting the staff Saturday night and everyone else on social networks throughout the next few days.

Enjoy and we would love your support.

Terms and conditions;

The competition begins the 12/12/12 at 12:00pm and finishes on the 15/12/12 at 5:00pm.

The winner will be announced at 7:00pm 15/12/12 and published on twitter, Facebook and Instagram on the accounts associated with this competition.

The accounts associated with this competition are @thebrownfox_ (t) @thebrownfoxperth (I) @deadplayground and @jodiedunning on twitter and Instagram and the Facebook accounts of 'The Brown Fox' and 'Paul Dunning'.

Although The Brown Fox is mentioned in social media aspects relating to this competition it is solely privately run by Paul and Jodie Dunning and The Brown Fox is in no way liable or responsible.

Family of any the social media accounts associated with this competition are excluded from entering.

To be included as a correct entry it must be in the following categories;

On twitter you must be following @thebrownfox_ and RT (retweet) a tweet including the hash tag #foxylove posted during the competition times will be counted as a single entry. Multiple entries are welcome.

On Facebook you must 'like' The Brown Fox's business page and have made liked a comment containing the hash tag #foxylove either on the wall of any of the associated facebook accounts for a single entry. Multiple entries welcome.

On Instagram you must be following the account of @thebrownfoxperth and liked or made comment on any of the photos posted that include the hash tag #foxylove on any of the associated accounts of this competition.

Each correct entry will be allocated a number in the order they are received where a random number generator will be used to determine the winner.

The winner will be final.
No correspondence will be entered into.

First prize consists of only 1 x $100.00 voucher to be used at The Brown Fox West Perth.
Terms and conditions may apply in regards to use.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Sleep Deprived

I have been sitting here at work in front of the computer thinking of what important and wittingly funny issues I could blog about while resisting the urge to shut my office door and have a nap, then it hit me and i dont mean my head and the desk.

The people i hold dear to me have noticed for some time now that i am grumnpy, snappy and very tired which usually isnt like me at all.

Thinking back it's really come on since the twins  have arrived, which was something i had issues with at the time (another blog).

I try to do a lot at once. I work, although it's not the hardest job in the world, and i come home and do the most i can for my wife, she does an amazing job. I clean the house and cook meals as much as i can because I feel it helps her out and at the end of the day i find it hard to relax in an untidy environment. And because i respect what my wife does i try to get up all night for the twins too who wake any where between just the once to 10 times a night, although unfortunately it seems to be the latter.

But there is only so much that I can blame on sleep. I hate what i have become/becomming.

My daughters miss 3 and miss 4 seem to cop the brundt of it lately. they arent unruley kids but i seem to be reacting abruptly and I feel guilty after i have disciplined them to harshly.

As a father trying to not make the same mistakes of his father i used to lay there at night before falling asleep thinking about how I was as a father that day and what i could have done to be a better dad. Lately I just dont do it because it hurts.

I dont know what to do. You dont want to speak about it because there is always someone more tired than yourself. You dont see a doctor because to you thats the last thing you want to do. But what if it is more than just not sleeping or stress.

I could try going to bed earlier but thats not something i can seem to do either. By the time the last child is in bed it's 9:00pm and then its time to have some time to yourself and some time with the wife. A cup of tea, some probably far too much social networking and before you know it youre in bed and it's midnight only to have to get up for work at 5:50 after an interupted night of twins waking almost hourly.

I am trying my hardest as a dad and a husband but lately i feel like i am failing at both and need to make some changes.

I have always loved the christmas period but lately it seems i have lost my HOHOHO. I have holidays soon and i am hoping that helps. I am going to look into some vitamins perhaps and consider some electronic free early-to-bed nights for the sake of my family, but honestly i cant see that happening either.

I just hope they realise that i love them all and there isnt anything i wouldnt do at the end of the day to be a better DAD.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Insomniac Parents

Being a parent of 6 kids and now including multiples i would like to think ive tried everything when it comes to getting kids to sleep.

When I tell people how many kids I have, upon returning to their feet, their response normally involves a joke about not having a TV (what?! You can't have sex while watching TV) and then the realisation and a comment about it being hard on me.

yes it is hard and for the non breeders and the beginner parents, both of which bitch endlessly on social networks about how tired they are and how hard their day was with little jimmy. Screw you!

My children don't sleep! Plain and simple. I have never had a sleeper. Not matter the routines, theories, practices and program's they don't sleep through the night until they are two years old.

Don't get me wrong I know I am to blame. I have read every book, every website forum, every wives tale and spoken to doctor after doctor and I know what I'm doing wrong.

The loved ones in my life were noticing that I was becoming a little snappy and grumpy. Its not intentional I assure you, but it's true.

So one day at work I sat there and did some calculations. You see I am really really tired.

The twins are now 16 months and wake anywhere between twice to 10 times a night between them.

Do the math. I am sleeping on average hourly. I don't know if I'd ever admit it but I enjoy going to work on a Monday. I get more sleep there.

My wife and I have an understanding. We have made the decision that we are prepared to go without sleep than to apply the procedures involved to get them
To learn to fall back to sleep by them selves.

Yes I mean controlled crying. And regardless of the all the do gooders it really works but its not something we are prepared to do. Not saying I haven't tried it, the opposite. I applied it for a week. And it worked. But due to moving house they fell back into old habits and they have stayed that way and we just can't do it again.

So they wake I get up and give them a small bottle and they go back to sleep with the dream that in 6 months they will sleep through the night

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The effects of having twins

In the beginning....: Got twins?? Pics: Ok, I have been told that I should post a *READER DISCRETION* on this post. Solely because one or two of the pics aren't what everyone would...

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Terrace Hotel

Staying at The Terrace Hotel, Perths' newest boutique hotel for a Social Media Event isn't something that I would normally attend, anxious and bordering clinical agoraphobia I was well out of my comfort zone.

Going alone, with out my rock and cuddle blankies (the family) isn't something I do often, In fact during the initial meet and greet session perthmunchkin and kitta asked me when the last time i went out by myself without the family, I had a hard enough time remembering which year it was in, so it's safe to say a long time ago.

To be fully honest i did consider turning around and heading back home half way there, because it just felt wrong to be going with out my beautiful wife.

Often I feel I am perceived as weak or insecure because of what some see as a lack of independence, but I see it as security and warmth. I have described this to my wife before in the way that I see myself as the big duck of my little pond and i like having my mummy duck beside me and little ducklings under my wing. I don't know where this feeling of control has come from but it's all i know.

That's enough of my insecurities, on with my adventure.

I will by pass my travels to the event which included driving half way there in my sons BMW convertible with L plates and several trips around the block to find parking, walking in circles in the rain and being the last to arrive. (yes my son has a BMW with no licence yet)

Arriving at the Hotel I wanted to appreciate everything as I took being invited to attend a Social Media event seriously and I wanted to do my part to make it successful. I think that the tool that is Social Networking is underrated by businesses in this country.

Standing in the light rain at the heritage timber moulded entrance to the foyer, outside looking in,  i admired the contrasting finishes in deep rich colours and renaissance paintings just inside the door.

Once inside I was outnumbered 3:1 by mature experienced staff that were friendly and professional, the right levels of cheesiness and joviality made me feel very welcome and at ease.

Due to the age of the building and keeping with the theme of the hotel the hallways and trafficable areas were cosy and quality finishes continued through out.

The facilities carried the same theme and catered for every facet of event, from casual bar, exquisite dining, romantic rendezvous or private function.

Being a parent with many children I really don't get out much, and find that i have very simple tastes and most times i find that at fancy events I don't find the food appealing at all. This however wasn't the case with anything I experienced at the Terrace Hotel.
The food by Executive Chef Shannon Wilson was exquisite and plated beautifully. From the on site baked bread, the entrees and the to die for lamb it would have to be one of the tastiest meals Ive ever had.

The attention to quality finishes and fine detail seemed to carry throughout the entire hotel and my room, which was a deluxe room, was no exception.

A combination of plush rich carpets, solid timber joinery and furniture and marble and brass integrated smoothly. It was a decent sized room with an open designed en suite larger than most new residential bedrooms.

Everything had a place and a job to do and although it was a new hotel everything felt as though it has progressed through the ages.

There are some things that parents notice that others may take for granted, and two of those things are Peace and Quiet. Laying there sideways across the king size luxurious white goose down & feather pillows & duvets by Ploh and soaking in the gentle hum of the air conditioning with no one climbing on you is bliss.

The spacial marble and brass clad en suite is roomy and inviting. although my room wasn't fitted with a bath the rain head shower had ample pressure and heat and gave you plenty of time with out going cold. Although next time i need the bath.

The antique Chinese styles cupboards contain every amenity needed for a short stay including, iron, robes and slippies, a fully stocked gourmet bar fridge and personal nespresso machine, something i noticed far too late to really enjoy.

Although heritage styled the electronics in the room are nothing short of state of the art with touchscreen remote Bang and Olufsen HD digital TV & surround sound system and iPads and appleTV's in every room all connected through high speed wireless internet.

Now being a parent blog i like to leave with a conclusion or a moral.

The terrace hotel lives up to expectations of being an executive boutique hotel, accompanied by impressive service, quality fixtures and fittings and exquisite food and beverages.

Being in the construction industry myself i don't find my self saying this often, but somewhere someone though of building a hotel with a passion and a feel to it. Walking throughout the hotel and taking time to admire the fittings and heritage of building you can feel it.

Nestled in the heart of Perth's CBD it's a perfect location to stay for the professional client.

Saying that, the theme through out the building, the quality, the plush feel, the closeness, the romance the love, that 'je ne sais pas' I believe, needs to be experience with a loved one to truly compliment what this unique hotel has to offer. Whether that be an anniversary for your parents, that first getaway you'll remember forever or the opportunity to offload the kids and let your wife know you love her.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

You're doing your best.

Yesterday I received some feedback from my wife regarding an earlier post Patience and the OCD child.

She said that she read it and as she did she cried.

And even as I write this i am tearing up myself.

You see as a parent with as many kids as we do including a set of multiples you sometimes react a little too hastily sometimes regretting maybe raising your voice a little too loud or saying something you shouldnt and feeling guilty as you sit there guiltily as you listen to the scourned child crying in the bedroom.

And i am sure this isnt restricted to a large familites like our it must happen in all families, especially with the stresses we all face.

Sierra isnt a bad child, nor is she ADD, ADHD, OCD or any of those other tags we place unfairly on children (my feelings on that is definately another post).

You can see in her eyes she is a caring child that just does things in hope to get our attention which all children do in different ways.

Rhiannon whos 4 is a drama queen she photo bombs, dances, sings, waves her arms around, and has to be and have the best of everything. She is taller, better at most things, smarter and brighter than most kids her age.

Where for Sierra seems to live in her shadow and can complete in the only way she knows how.

I dont think it's intentional which makes it even harder on us as parents to discipline.
Yesterday it was honey today it was nutella.

Anyway what I am trying to say as a parent that at the end of the day we're not perfect we are trying to do the best we can and finding that little bit extra patence at the end of the day is hard.

She still thinks we are wonderful and loves us to death. Even if dad is the favourite for making her baby chinos. (yes she told me).

And at the end of the day without fail she is told that we love her.

And a big brown shark came...

Those of you old, or cool enough, to have experienced all wrong that is Eddie Murphy's delirious will enjoy the reference In the title

Tonight instead of the usual routine of bathing the twins while the girls shower together, we let the girls watch some tv instead so it wasn't as hectic.

Yes the bath routine, for those without kids, is very hectic.

So here I am in the kitchen and all I here is mum blaming one of the twins for farting.

But that would have been the least of her worries because one of the boys decided that bath time was a relaxing place to poo.

As funny as it sounds to non-parents believe me it's not.

So here we are grabbing the boys out of the bath post haste as if a scene from the original Jaws movie, unwashed at this point, wrapping them in towels and proceeding to dry them in their bedroom. Spaghetti bog stains on their little shocked faces.

Now here's the lesson for all you non breeders, what is the methodology in removing poo from a bath full of water and toys?!?!? Hey?

Yeah you think you know everything.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

As Sweet as she is.

An early phone call at work by the wife can only mean one thing, some thing's gone wrong.

Although it is hard to not write this with a grin on my face picturing the event, one which can only be enjoyed when one is not there having to deal with it or clean it up.

Apparently the day started for my wife at 6:05 when our little Booggitty, Sierra (3), wakes mum up with a request for breakfast.

We have a policy in our house although i don't think it's ever been adhered to, that the kids should come out of their rooms in the mornings before 7:00am or at least until one of us are up.
Therefore Sierra was sent back to her bedroom breakfast-less.

Mum fell back to sleep until 7:15 when she was woken to a noise in the kitchen.

Sierra, was filling up the dog's bowl with water. Which s very thoughtful of her. Albeit it there was already a dogs water outside.

That was normal enough until mum realised that Sierra looked a little 'sticky-er' than usual, which meant further investigation to the bedroom.

Now bear in mind that Sierra was sent away at 6:05am breakfast-less, she has decided to make her own.

One must give credit for her having something relatively healthy and all natural, but I'm assuming that helping ones self to a cup of Honey isn't the most stable of diets.

Sierra had gone into the pantry, and out of all the sugary packaged cereals and biscuits she could have chosen she helped herself to the newly purchased squeezy bottle of honey.
Then proceeded to empty 3/4 of said bottle into a cup before returning to her bedroom to eat it with a spoon. Being a caring girl she shared it with her 4 year old sister.

So picture a bedroom, 2 innocent girls covered in honey, including in their hair somehow, blankets, sheets, clothes and at one point spilling said cup-o-honey on the new carpets also.

To top it off it has all happened when my wife has a 9:00am appointment.

At the end of the day there are lessons to be learnt from this, which most parents become complacent with, As I am a prime offender.

PUT SHIT AWAY and lock everything!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Patience and the OCD Child

I have 6 children, two older boys from a previous marriage and 4 to the beautiful @jodiedunnng. Whose mothering ability and patience should be bottled and used to end all harm to children throughout the world.

16 months ago we had the blessing of two of the most handsome little men. Born premature meant 2 months in hospital for poor mummy (and poor daddy who still had to maintain some sort of stable-ness at home whole travelling back and forth to the hospital daily).

It was a struggle for everyone but there there was one little person that was affected, so we found out in time, more than any other.

A devil reincarnate, god bless her the little angel, Sierra, 3 years of age, who from birth was very clingy and and mummy reliant.

Sierra, 2 at the time the boys were born, missed mummy greatly when she went into hospital and wasn't quite old enough to understand what was going on. Sure like any girl that age she was excited to be getting little brothers but as far as she knew that was as simple as going to toyworld.

Little did we know we were in for some of the hardest testing times of our parenting lives.

With mum coming out of hospital some 2 months later with premature twins meant that there wasn't much time for sierra now and she didn't really cope with sharing her mummy.

What we are left with now is 15 months on an insecure 3 year old with every anxious, OCD, nervous disorder you could imagine wrapped up in a cute little bundle.

It seemed sierra went backwards in age reverting to baby traits of wanting to be carried or picked up and held constantly, sucking her thumb, wetting her bed to some of the more recent ones of picking her toes and biting her nails and changing what she is wearing constantly.

Not to mention the a weak emotional state of crying at the drop of the hat.

There are times when you can just see the real Sierra just shine through, it's like she has forgotten her dependendancies and become free and it's a beautiful thing to behold, she has such a beautiful smile.

I remember my wife telling me that she caught Sierra crying one day by herself, so she questioned what was wrong. Sierra said that she wanted to live at Nannies (My mums). As you could imagine this would have broken any mothers heart, but the reason was more heart wrenching.

Sierra's reason was because mummy hadn't told her off ALL day. It wasn't because Mummy was too busy to notice her being naughty it was because Sierra had behaved herself.

So sierras reasoning is attention=love being naughty=attention.

We have seen doctors and got advice and apparently it's a "stage" and she will grow out of it.
We hope so because she just has such a beautiful soul.
So for now we are nurturing her as best we can and trying to be as patient as we can, (well as patient as we can with 6 kids).

Hind sight is a marvellous thing as a parent and if i had known the birth of the twins and mum going into hospital was going to be such an ordeal her her i would have done things different.

I think she would have benefitted from maybe coming with me to the hospital more to come and see mum and try make her understand what is happening to a degree. Still have that connection maybe do some drawing with her. it was just a whirlwind time for us and I have to admit, which brings a tear to my eye, we may have frogotten her. sibgleing out the needs for one child is very hard in a time where the health of the mother and twins is imperative.

The major probem was that in the ICU only one partner is allowed in, no one else is allowed to visit.

She has kindy next year so we are hoping this will be her year to shine and gain some Independence, something her older sister oozes, which is a post for another day.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Where to begin

I'm a forty year old father of 6 on his second marriage. With kids ranging from 16 months to 17 years including twin boys life can be, and is, hard yet still the most rewarding job in the world.

I work full time in construction management at. I consider myself lucky to have the job, lifestyle, wife, family and lifestyle that I do.

But at the end of the day everything I do is for my kids. I have made it this far with 6 of the most awesome well rounded kids you could could ever wish to meet. So I take that as a compliment as a father and like to think I'm doing something right.

So join me in my travels as a father and hopefully my advice helps.