not your typical 44th birthday!

T’was the night before my birthday, and bedtime for the tribe. “Goodnight”, I said, “I’ll see you all tomorrow night”. (I was off to work in the morning, leaving at 0415hrs, and getting home around 1800hrs – I KNOW!).

There was much hurried dull roaring whispering, and a flurry of activity behind me, as they realised they wouldn’t see me on my birthday morning (the traditional gift-giving time!). VOILA! A soft, sausage-like gift was presented.

Gift was wrapped in Christmas wrapping. Apparently, when Wilbur asked the girls if there was “any wrapping paper at home”, they replied with “yes”, but didn’t appear to think there was any need to tell him it was Christmas themed!

I unwrapped my sausage – and (thankfully), some socks fell out. These are not just any socks – they are long, fluffy (made with ALL the flammable materials) socks with non-slip on the soles. tremendous. “They are size large Mummy”, boasted Mackenzie proudly. I struggled to pull them on. It appears that size large Asian feet are actually quite small! Upon further questioning, it appears the purchase was made in one of those little $2 shoppy type places – usually run by glorious people of Asian descent. I wore them proudly – not letting on that my feet were slowly suffocating, and sweating profusely!

Murph then proudly presented me with a gift – wrapped by her. It revealed a jar containing Christmas tinsel and baubles (ahh – so that’s why she wanted the jar with tinsel and baubles yesterday!), lovingly decorated with cut up colourful straws. The pure joy on her face was almost worth MORE than the gift itself. Thanks Murph.

I awoke the next day (BIRTHDAY day!) and 0400hrs – off to work, with a spring in my step.

Many birthday greetings were bestowed upon me through the day – of which I was super thrilled – yet unable to reply. Once I got to work and finally spoke to someone at 0700hrs, I found I had a super sneaky (not even sexy) voice happening. Much smiling ensued.

My workmates arranged an afternoon tea – I felt very honoured – they presented me with “the tackiest gift they could find” (their words) – a mini beach cricket set, and a glorious card with much love written inside.

The drive home was filled with conversations and birthday greetings over the phone (yes, yes – bluetooth!). I stopped outside our gate, tooting my horn – waiting for my ‘automatic gate opener’ to come outside and let me in. Nothing. I rang the home phone. Nothing. “Ugh – a girl can’t even get the gate opened for her on her birthday”…….. I may or may not have muttered to myself. I drove in – the house was in darkness. Wilbur’s car not in sight.

I had a lovely chuckle to myself – knowing the ‘surprise’ that was to greet me!

I opened the streamer decorated backdoor, and as I turned on the light – “SURPRISE” was yelled with much delight and enthusiasm! The house had been totally decked out in balloons and streamers (OMG – how long did I have to leave them up before I could get rid of them……!) – and I was greeted by an avalanche of giggling happy girls, clamouring for a squeeze, with a smiling Wilbur looking on! Man I LOVE that gang.

At this point – I was fading slightly – up since 0400hrs (it was 1800hrs by this time), my throat was sore, voice negligible, and I was wondering how long I needed to stay awake before it was appropriate for bed – surely 8pm was manageable!!!!

More gifts and homemade cards (plus a card from Wilbur – he ALWAYS finds just the right one – his gift giving may be dodgy at times – but his card selecting is top notch!) awaited – proudly wrapped with a Christmas theme!


Murphy proudly brought over her jar – and disaster struck – she dropped it, and it smashed to smithereens. The disappointment on her face was heartbreaking.

Gift 01. A very dusty black (empty) photo frame that had been languishing on the floor next to my bedside dresser for some years. It appears my children are well versed in the art of the Indian gift-giving!

Gift 02. A waffle-maker. “Yay – now you make us waffles on Saturday” was the cry that ensued. sigh

Gift 03. A super soft blanket – “for when you pull over on the side of the road for a nap after a late shift”. “So you stop taking our nice warm one”. Thanks gang!

Dinner was a delightful event. I had pre-purchased the ingredients last week – Atlantic salmon fillets and kaleslaw, to be accompanied with smashed spuds. A firm favourite of mine. I also purchased some delish steak for Wilbur and chicken sticks for the girls. My entire meal was interrupted with “can I please have some of your salmon?”, and “can I please have some steak?”. All from our bean-Milla. So peaceful. if I had closed my eyes (I nearly did – many times – exhaustion!), I could have sworn I was in a swanky restaurant!


Our lovely neighbour over the road brought in a lovely birthday cake, which we paired with the wonderful Coles mud cake (a firm family favourite for birthdays) – only it was missing the usual decorations of whipped cream and strawbs! Apparently Wilbur ‘forgot’!


An enthusiastic rendition of Happy birthday was ::yelled:: sung, and I was escorted to the couch (by this time, in my PJ’s after a quick shower), whereby I was treated to foot and hand massages by Murph, and a head tickle by Milla, Kenz and Madz. Perfect.

Bedtime at 2030hrs – and I slept the sleep of the dead. Winning.

I love a good birthday – and my 44th one was no exception.

Here’s to a ripper 45th year – I might just start stocking up on birthday gift wrapping in anticipation!


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