Our Family

In Short

We used to be two young professionals, a finance geek and an engineer, without a care in the world and probably a bit too much disposable income. Several years on, and four kids later, our lives have been turned upside down. And before you judge us for our excessive procreation, we got 2-for-1 on the third pregnancy….

Murphy’s Law (formerly the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics) states simply that  ‘All Things Tend Towards Chaos.’

All things.

So here we are. Knee-deep in chaos. We are busier, poorer and perpetually exhausted, but our lives are somehow richer and more meaningful. We are in the process of discovering how to ‘do life better together’. Whether that is figuring out our finances, aligning faith and values with our life choices, living abroad or child-raising challenges. We learned a lot by experimenting on the first couple of kids… 

Our goal is ‘to escape the chaos’, despite how the universe tends to operate.

 

Our Background

We were married over 15 years ago on the best day of Mrs Chaos’ life (Mr Chaos wrote this page).  Seven years of plenty calm without kids, were followed by seven years of famine chaos with kids. And the journey continues.

Between us, we have lived in 10 countries on 5 continents. Mr Chaos is an Irishman who grew up in Latin America. Mrs Chaos is a Zimbabwean whose family emigrated to Scotland. After Scotland, we lived in Zambia (Southern Africa) for 5 years and now we live in Spain. And so our kids are … confused.

 

Why Waste Our Precious Time on a Blog?

Many reasons. We both enjoy writing. And the act of writing about our experiences helps us to assess and improve our parenting.

Then there’s the therapy.  When your 2-year-old smears his poo all over your bed – sometimes you just need to share the details for the sympathy – or the laughter.

We have learned a lot over the years, but not everything and my wife is exceptionally opinionated and will gladly share that information with whomsoever will listen – and we hope that the community reading our posts will be gracious enough to share their wisdom with us. 

Accountability is also key. We often make decisions only to wonder a few months later why on earth we chose a certain path. Documenting our decisions will not only keep us accountable, but also remind us why we made the decision in the first place.

 

Our Identities

Prior to starting this blog, we thought long and hard about revealing the details of our family life to the entire world. We are more than happy to share our identities and to own the many mistakes we have made over the years (at least that’s what we like to think!)

But we are conflicted about revealing the identities of our kids, particularly pictures and stories about them. After all, is it fair that a future employer/partner might be able to find out what they chose to do with their excrement on that dark, dark, day?! Anyway, we know that we want this blog to be real and personal but we also want to ensure our kids can get a job one day to pay for our stay in an old folk’s home…

So here is our plan, although it might morph and we may find it necessary to tweak the boundaries at some point. As much as possible we are going to avoid recognizable photographs of them and give everyone Star Wars-themed names – apologies to Trekkie fans as you leave in droves. Here goes:

Mr Chaos a.k.a Darth Vader or Dad

Realistically there is only one character Mr. Chaos could identify with, the most infamous father in history. Maybe not such a heavy breather but definitely challenged with silent rage. He’s a husband, a father, and a finance geek (accountant). Numbers make him happy. Mr Chaos enjoys playing soccer (football), spending time with family, and his last ‘proper job’ the CFO of a healthcare NGO. He’s an introvert who can’t multi-task, but knows his way around an excel spreadsheet like Solo in the Falcon. And he loves playing Lego. I mean, playing with his kids when they are playing Lego.

Mrs Chaos a.k.a Galadriel or Mom

Mrs Chaos may have missed the Start Wars memo… To be fair it was a toss-up between a Star Wars themed family or a Lord of the Rings one. LoTR lost, mostly coz our kids resemble wookies and green gremlins rather than cute hobbits.  Anyway, Mrs Chaos is obviously nothing like Galadriel, particularly in terms of grace, but she has Galadriel’s split personality nailed (dark queen/mom… ) Product designer, mechanical engineer, mama, and wife. Currently responsible for making sure the multitude of offspring don’t starve and occasionally get educated/picked up from school. Creative and exceptionally witty. She laughs at her own jokes…

Leia / General Organa 8 yrs

Yes you read that right – either General Organa or just Leia – coz there ain’t no princesses living round here. But Generals…well, there are a couple of those in this house vying for authority. Authority that this one wields mercilessly over Yoda, Chewy and Solo. She tries to get one over Vader and Galadriel occasionally and usually fails miserably, with repercussions, most of the time. Fierce, funny, brave and independent.

Hans Solo a.k.a Solo 3 yrs

Chewy’s twin/partner in crime. Sometimes. When they aren’t hitting and biting one another. Born on steroids, does not stop running, climbing and causing chaos. It helps (is highly concerning) that he appears to be impervious to pain. We had him assessed for poorly functioning pain receptors. Fearless with an incredible penchant for mischief and trouble, all with a giant grin on his face, twinkling eyes and irrepressible charm.

Yoda 5 yrs

Fitting because he is cute and weird and talks the biggest load of hilarious backwards nonsense you ever heard. Aged well before his time, often called an ‘old soul’. Known for his random life observations and highly convoluted stories, where the line between truth and reality is extremely blurred. Polite and thoughtful and the sweetest/strangest kid you will ever meet.

Chewbacca a.k.a Chewy 3 yrs

He’s tall and built like a tank with weird hair. He began life in 0.4th percentile and is now in the 91st. And Smart. Too smart. He knows how to work more tech in this house than the adults do. But much like Chewbacca, he communicates in groans, grunts and squeals. Yep, we are trying not to overthink his speech delays, apparently, some geniuses only started talking at 4… here’s hoping. Shy, affectionate and very pensive.