Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Travelling tips


We're packing up, ready to go on a family holiday for a couple of weeks. I didn't even think about how the kids were going to survive all the travelling until yesterday. I did a quick online search and found these two sites packed full of great travelling with kids ideas!

http://www.momsminivan.com
http://travelwithkids.about.com

Here are some of the ideas I found that I'm going to try out:

Foil figurine making - take a roll of aluminium foil and give the kids challenges eg. make a robot out of foil

Car bingo - printable car bingo cards available at www. momsminivan.com

Bubbles - that will be fun!

Tape/Post-Its - pass them to the back seat and let the kids go for it! I'm not expecting to be able to see much out of the back windows :o)

Pipe cleaner creatures - take a long some pipe cleaners so the kids can get creative.

Card games - don't forget the simple old-fashioned games like snap!

Trip journal - simple exercise books are perfect for your children to create memories in.

Have a wonderful trip! (oh, and please share your tips too!)

PS - these posts are going to become even more sporadic over the next few weeks. Have a great Christmas in the meantime - see you next year! xo

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

And here ends the first year..

GB5 finished Kindergarten this week. I can't believe she's already finished her first year at school! Looking back on the year, we've learned heaps and made a lot of changes.

Above: Isabella (GB5) graduating from preschool last year. Below: Graduating from Kindergarten last week.

What I would do differently if I had the chance...

I would be more involved in school. As a first time kindy parent and new to the school, I often felt that I had no idea what was going on during the whirlwind of Isabella's first year of school. Now I realise that if I'd joined the P&C, I would've had easy access to whatever answers I needed and would've been part of a pre-established support and social network. I'm planning to join next year.

What we did well...

Some of the different friendship difficulties that arose were quite trying at times. It's not breaking news that children can be nasty. I think we came through it well though, with most of her friendships intact and many important life lessons learned. Isabella has learnt tolerance and grace and even how to stand up for herself!

What I've learned...

I've found now that Isabella is a school girl, that her time at home is so much more enjoyable. I really enjoy weekends and holidays now because I'm able to enjoy having her home after missing her during the week.

I've also learned that my children aren't going to necessarily be the best and fastest at everything - perhaps not anything right now - and that's okay.

I've learned to push my children's limits and confidence levels and that as long as I'm there to help them process what might turn into a negative situation, they'll be okay.

I've learned that if a child is grumpy and naughty when I pick them up from school, it generally means they've had a bad day and they need to talk about it.

Mostly I've learned, not to judge by first impressions. We're all doing our best at this parenting thing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

High maintenance child = Empty 'love tank'?


GB5 has been pretty high maintenance lately. Always wanting more, never happy with what she has, usually grumbling about something. This isn't her usual way. Normally, she's a happy, friendly little chick, who knows what she wants but is happy to compromise.

I've been going through the cycle; guilt, frustration, anger... then lastnight, after I had a good whinge about our regular standoffs, my husband worked out the problem - her 'love tank' isn't being filled ('love tank' is a term used by Gary Chapman when talking about feeling loved - a person who know's they're loved has a full 'love tank').

We've noticed that she jumps all over Matt when he gets home - without giving up - and is always nagging me to draw with her or read to her... we gradually realised that our little miss needed our time and undivided attention and that she wasn't getting enough. My initial reaction was something like, "Great, just add it to the bottom of my list. Like I have time to do anything else!" but it slowly dawned on me that if we could manage to show her just how special and appreciated she is, she'd probably become a lot easier to be around. Not to mention a much happier child!

We pulled out Gary Chapman's book The Five Love Languages and had a read through the children's section. We were having breakfast and I was reading it aloud to Matt. The next thing I know, GB5 sidles around the table and plops down next to me, "Keep reading mum - I love it!" How ironic. After I finished reading the section I asked her if she could remember times when she'd felt really loved by me. This is what she said: "Remember that time when I was sick and I couldn't go to the toilet so you carried me there? And when I was home from school and we just hung out?"

Bingo!

It breaks my heart to think that she hasn't been feeling loved or appreciated lately. With two younger kids and a hectic schedule, I can see now that she's fallen through the cracks. By the time she gets home from school, I'm exhausted and gearing up for the dinner/bath/bed slog.

After some discussion we decided that the extra half hour GB5 is awake after her brother and sister go to bed is going to be 'our time'. We've realised that we need to make something of those precious thirty minutes. Maybe read a book or do some drawing with her. Or just sit and chat about our day.

It will be interesting to see the results and if there are any changes in her behaviour.

Do you know what your children's love languages are? How do you make sure their little 'love tanks' are full?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It would break a mother's heart

1500 mothers and 10 000 newborns die every day due to complications that could have been prevented just with the presence of a skilled birth attendant*.

This statistic is heartbreaking. As a mother, this is a subject that brings me to tears, more than I ever expected it would. I have three beautiful, healthy children but when I consider the complications we endured during their deliveries, I realise that if we weren't so blessed to live in Australia, I would've ended up as one of those statistics. More than likely, my children would have too. I retained products with all three and haemhorraged with two. It doesn't take much to kill you if you don't have the right medical support.

To put this into perspective, as Australians we have a one in 13 000 chance of suffering fatal birth complications. In Niger - the nation with the world's highest maternal death rate - women's chances of death are one in seven**. One in seven! Think about your girlfriends, sisters, mother... one in seven is a very high ratio. Some communities in countries with similar statistics won't name their children until they reach five. Why? It hurts less that way.

Stories telling of families torn apart by maternal mortality abound. To read the stories of two women who, until now were voiceless, click here. New Internationalist devoted a whole (heartbreaking) section of their March 2009 issue to the subject. Compassion has just launched a new arm Rescue Babies Now and features story after story of women and children saved through vital medical and practical intervention and education.

The reality is, as women and/or mothers we're the most likely group to feel for these women and their children, enough to want to do something about it. Realistically and unfortunately, most of us can't fly over and work in the fields for months on end or donate large amounts of money.

We must not feel powerless.


A real sense of empowerment came when I clicked on to Rescue Babies Now and saw the programs they have set up:

$100 ensures that a woman has access to a skilled attendant
during the birth of her child.

$63 can provide a Survival Specialist with a backpack filled with the supplies needed to care for mums and babies. Some items included are: First aid kit, scale, sanitation supplies, oral rehydration therapies, bible, age-appropriate toys, books, soap, towels, etc.

$52 ensures a child has access to all needed vaccinations up through their 4th birthday.

$44 provides a month worth of food and/or nutritional supplements to ensure that mums and babies are not malnourished
(although costs vary per country, $44 is the average amount needed to provide for the nutritional needs of one mum and one baby for one month).

In our household, we don't have much extra to give but this issue is really important to me as a mum and as a woman. I feel that I have a responsibility to my international 'sisters' to do the right thing by them and fight for their lives and those of their children.

If you'd like to support these women and their beautiful children, please visit my secure
fundraising page (I'm trying to raise enough money to supply professional maternal medical assistance to 10 women) or donate directly to Rescue Babies Now.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read about the sadness surrounding this topic. Even by just reading through this, you're helping alleviate the problem.

* http://rescuebabiesnow.org
** www.newint.org
Photo

Monday, December 7, 2009

Nordegren vs Woods. A lesson learned.


The public demise of Tiger Woods' marriage has been horrible to watch. I feel so sad for his wife. I don't read glossies so I don't really know what's going on (although I doubt very much that the glossies do either.. ) but Elin Nordegren - aka Mrs Tiger Woods - has been publicly humiliated, what I would assume to be one of her greatest nightmares coming true, splashed over just about every media-seized surface in the western world.

What I've been reminded of as I've watched this heartbreaking story unfold, is that we put too much emphasis on how we look. Ms Nordegren is a beautiful woman who used to be a model. Even still, Tiger cheated. If you believe the tabloids, he cheated regularly, indiscretely and in excess, even though he was married to a stunningly beautiful woman.

As I said earlier, I don't know what's going on in their relationship and I'm not about to pretend to know - it's not even any of my business to know, or to have an opinion on it. But feeling insecure about (what we feel are) physical inadequacies, is not worth the emotional stress and pain it causes. We all have features that we're not happy with. Big, small, flat, round, straight, curly, black, brown - the grass isn't always greener! Physical perfection does not bring happiness - in marriage or otherwise.

There is so much pressure on women to look 'perfect'. In the movies, the beautiful girls always get the hot guys. The not so beautiful girls seem to usually fill the 'baddie' role. How about the 'ugly stepsisters'? What's with that?! What, they're bad because they're 'ugly'?

As a woman (and wife) sometimes I find myself caught in the trap. I feel like it's my 'duty' to look as good as possible, all the time. If I don't, I'm not doing a good enough job, I seem to tell myself. Where do these thoughts come from? I have no idea, but I have a feeling that I'm not alone.

Outer beauty is not enough to save a relationship. Sure, it's great to take care of ourselves and have a bit of fun along the way, but there's way too much priority put on outward appearances.

If a model's husband strays, this is proof enough for me - looks shouldn't be my priority. They're never going to be enough to build a strong, lasting relationship.

This You-Tube really puts this in perspective.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My husband is great

It’s not really ‘in’ to brag about your husband – or even to say anything nice about him at all! That sux because he's actually one half of a very powerful union.

I’ve been inspired to speak more highly of my husband and tell others how I feel about him and what he does for our family. Malia at Blissfully Domestic encourages her readers to share their thoughts about their husbands. Happy thoughts. Examples of his care and encouragement. Maybe something little he did to brighten their day. No backhanded compliments. No teasing when they don’t quite get it right. After all, we’d be pretty cut if all the guys got together and laughed at us behind our back every time we locked our keys in the car or forgot to take the kids to swimming – wouldn’t we? I think so.

This 'bagging our husbands' trend is one I don’t want to follow so I’m going to put my positive thoughts out there, in cyberspace. Feel free to join me if you so desire.

You might think it's corny (and I've tried very hard not to be) but really, can it do any harm?

So here goes.

My husband is my best friend. He's the only person on this planet who can do so many amazing things in my life.

He's the only one who I can totally, honestly, be myself with. I have awesome friends and family who are such wonderful parts of my life but no one can do what he does.

He's the only one who can calm my nerves or quell my worries. He always seems to have the right words.

He makes me laugh like no one ever has or ever will. Just a sidewards glance or an off-handed comment can have me in peels of laughter. He has even started to laugh at my jokes - he's definitely the only one who can do that!

He's also a great father to our children. He's the only one who can truly make them feel secure, (especially at the notorious swimming lessons..) He's the best one at keeping them in line and helping them to truly understand respect.

There are so many great things I could write about my husband but I guess the most important thing is: He's the best one for me and I'll alway be grateful for him. xox

Friday, November 27, 2009

Experiment - are you willing?


It's FRIDAY!! The end of a long, hot week. Hopefully for all of you today signals the beginning of a couple of days of lovely, well-earned rest.

To kick off the weekend I thought I'd do an experiment. I really enjoy Mia Freedman's best and worst bits of the week segment. It's always really theraputic to look back through the week and remember the greatest times and the moments you could do without. What do you think? Shall we give it a go? If it goes well, I'll do it each Friday..

Here's mine (but I really want to hear yours)

Best part of the week: Realising that if I buy or make smaller santa sacks (as opposed to our current massive, pillow slip sized ones), they will be filled much more quickly! And realising - again - that Christmas really is all about family and God's love so simple presents are the way to go.

Worst part of the week: We're going to a funeral today :o( A lovely family friend passed away last week. She had a wonderful life and has left an amazing legacy but she will be missed.

How was your week?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I L.I.K.E you better when you are N.O.T around


I, along with most of the population, am totally in love with Kate Miller-Heidke and her music. Her new album has practically melded itself to the CD player in our car. The kids LOVE it. I usually listen to Hope 103.2 (they make sure their music is always suitable for little ears - no censorship needed there!) but I've found that Kate's album - Curiouser - is not only a great listen, but it's helped cement some of the things the kids have been learning about lately.

Two songs in particular have made an impact on the girls.

Caught in the Crowd is Kate's heart felt apology to a boy - James - who she befriended then betrayed in high school. She tells the story of how they used to race home from school on their bikes and slowly built a friendship. James didn't have many friends at school and oneday when some of the kids were pushing him around, he saw Kate and called out her name... and she turned and walked away.

Everytime I hear this my insides turn to mush. Not because I was bullied at school - I was painfully quiet so got off pretty much scott-free - but because this is such a sad reality for so many people. Something that's really important to Matt and I is that our children grow up with an awareness of other people's feelings and needs - not just their own.

The girls have dubbed this song The Sorry Song and talk about how sad James was when Kate walked away from him. They've learned how important it is to stick by our friends and that to refuse to be someones friend will hurt them deeply. They ask to listen to it over and over again and I'm happy to oblige - the lesson they're learning is so important.



Song number 2 on my plug list is I Like You Better When You Are Not Around. Startling title but awesome message. See for yourself:

(This isn't the entire song, I've cut out a few verses... )

Long, long ago in the years BC
The women used to gossip while they made their tea
It's been our method of survival, right from the start
But girl you've really gone and turned it into an art

After I see you I feel dirty as hell
Like you've contaminated me with that peculiar smell
That comes from dishing up the dirt on all your closest friends
"I mean like what the hell is with her, I mean, no offence"

So please don't take it to heart
When I say can we start to spend time apart
But frankly my dear
This friendship is toxic
Like a fox and a hound

I like you better when you're not around

Don't wanna hear about your bitchy scene
And I don't really care who gave who what disease
As if don't even know you say just the same about me
Do you really think I'm that naïve?

Great lyrics hey. You should hear it, the tune is even better!

At first I didn't play this song around the kids but then I realised the gem it actually is. I explained to them that people don't actually want to be friends with mean people. When we talk about others and say nasty things about them, people often think to themselves, "I wonder if they say mean things about me. I don't really want to be their friend anymore". It really got them thinking.



What do you think? Do you use music to teach your children about life? Would you let them listen to these songs?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy hour

Our neighbours probably think we have a dog. GB5 seems to be sensitive to dairy and every few weeks we get slack and give her milk, after which she barks and barks and barks. Day and night. I don't know why we keep being so remiss - we seem to talk ourselves into believing that she's not really sensitive - maybe she had a cold last time?

Anyway. GB5 is very dilligent about making sure that she doesn't drink milk or eat milk products. She's just that kind of child. You know, the type that doesn't miss anything.

A few weeks ago we had Beef Stew. This is a bit of a favourite in our house but this time GB5 had a very worried expression on her face as I served her meal. "No!" she exclaimed, to my surprise. "I can't eat beef Mum, it's dairy!"

Told you she didn't miss anything :o)

PS - The photo is thanks to The UK Sun. I just had to use it - check out the eyes on that thing!

Monday, November 23, 2009

3 fun (& FREE!) things to make

With the recent sweltering weather, we've all been spending a lot of time inside. TV gets old pretty quickly so here are three boredom busters we invented last week, which didn't bust the bank. Each activity was best suited to one of the three GruBers. GB5 loved making the paperbark letters, GB4 was right into the robot thing and GB2 had a ball making cakes.

Paperbark letters:

I found some beautiful pieces of paperbark on the medium strip and bought them home for the kids. While the two littlies weren't all that excited, GB5 got out her pens straight away and scribbled away for ages. The result is quite effective - don't you think?! Instead of coloured pens you could use crayons, paint, soft pencils.. You could use anything really, as long as your little artists don't have to press too hard -this may break the bark. GB5 quite enjoyed the different textures of the bark too, which also helps in giving them an appreciation of nature. How quaint ;o)

Materials:
Paperbark = $0
Pens/pencils/crayons/paint from around the house = $0
Total: FREE

Robot man:

GB4 was asking to make a robot all morning so we had a look through the craft area (which is just a pile of old wrapping paper, ribbon and containers) and found some bits and pieces. We glued them all together with wood glue and the resulting character is quite charming I think :o) GB4 really enjoyed the project because she was able to make it however she liked. It all felt very PlaySchool!

Materials:
Old packaging and boxes = $0
Glue/tape from around the house = $0
Old gift wrap/ribbon = $0
Total: ZIP

Cake:

This little invention actually emerged while GB4 and I were making the robot. GB2 was getting bored and fidgety so I passed him a couple of the bits and pieces we weren't using. After lining up the patty pans and 'counting' them again and again, he shoved them all into the old lettuce container and started calling it cake! It does look quite similar to store bought muffins, don't you think? He really enjoyed the whole thing and was still playing with them the next day. If you don't have any old (squashed and unusable) patty pans lying around, just a circle cut out of paper would do the trick nicely.

Materials:
Old container = $0
Patty pans or paper rounds = $0
Total: NADA

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mulberry trees and garden wees - Kate Wattus


My Child magazine has just finished their 2009 My Life writing competition. If you like, skip over and read some of the final entries.

I loved so many of them but this one gave me a giggle so I wanted to share.

MULBERRY TREES AND GARDEN WEES by Kate Wattus

Before becoming a mum I lived in a fantasy world of manners and mores, where children ate their meals in the seated position at a table. Where children said ‘please’and ‘thank you’. Where children replied when others spoke to them. Where children took their shoes off at the door. And last but by no means least, where children relieved themselves atop a piece of plumbed porcelain.

My game plan was pretty simple; spend enough time nurturing the Big Five, and things
would just fall into place. After all, apart from the small matter of my half-finished
education degree, I had all the time in the world to spend with my firstborn. And kids
just do what you tell them, right? Stop laughing please.

My eldest daughter’s manners were impeccable from day one. She always removed her
shoes at the front door. She would not only answer when spoken to, but engage the
speaker in a detailed discussion on any number of topics. And I could have taken her for
a slab of Wagyu at The Hilton, safe in the knowledge she wouldn’t drop her knickers and
do a wee on the clipped lawn if she felt that way inclined. Which is more than I can say
for Paris.

I must confess that the sight of a male, even a small one, thinking it was ok to urinate
in my back yard, just because he could, was unacceptable. It offended my feminine
sensibilities. I was very Jane Austen about the whole thing.

Fast forward nine years, and you could say I’ve loosened up a little. Not only do I have a
child who wees in the backyard, I have a female child who wees in the backyard. And
the front yard. And the neighbours’ yard. And the courtyard at her big sister’s violin
recital.

My youngests penchant for alfresco urination came about after a run of toilet training
mishaps.

‘Do you need to wee, Annouk?’ I’d ask, as that unmistakable expression came over her
face.

‘Yeah!’ she’d say as she scrambled to the edge of the trampoline mat, struggling to
remove her Tinkerbell undies.

Deciding enough was enough, and assuming that Noo would share her older sister’s
conservative views on the public wizz, I came up with a plan.

I gave the practice a name that sounded exciting and non-threatening (the Garden
Wee), and added just a dash of romance and discretion by suggesting she have her own
special location; under our beautiful mulberry tree. It was private. It was shady. And if
the neighbours were having a BBQ on the deck, Noo wouldn’t be providing the live
entertainment.

Not surprisingly, she took to it like a duck to water. We had no more wayward wee
wees. The trampoline stayed dry. And it gave the chickens something to look at if it was
a slow day in the coop.

Pretty soon, Noo decided to do away with the mulberry tree location. The Garden Wee
became the Grass Wee, and pretty soon the Just About Anywhere Wee. Once, while
chatting to our elderly neighbours on their front lawn, Annouk started to lift her skirt.
‘Noo?!’ I hissed, ‘What are you doing?!’

‘I need to do a wee, Mum,’ replied my little one, matter-of-factly.

Despite the fact that Betty and Roy displayed a saintly patience when it came to our
wandering children and chickens, I wasn’t about to force this upon them.

I hurried our polite goodbyes, and managed to get Annouk as far as our own front lawn.
Which brings me to the violin recital. As Britt stood silently poised, and prepared to
execute a perfect rendition of Twinkle Twinkle, Annouk announced that she needed to
perform a twinkle of her own. My spring into action occurred just as Britt’s bow touched
the strings, hence providing the appropriately frantic musical accompaniment for our
dash to deliverance.

‘I really need to go, Mum,’ she called as we dashed, hand in hand, searching for the loo.
I pulled her around the corner of the hall and into the grassy courtyard.

‘Just do it here,’ I whispered, bending to help her disrobe.

As I looked up to stare at the sky while she finished, I saw the Ladies sign just a handful
of metres away on the opposite side of the courtyard.

And that was the moment it all seemed so absurd. I crouched there on the grass beside
my beautiful little girl, and laughed at my Farcical Five; at myself. And I’m happy to say
that Noo joined in.

And now, just a few months down the track, she’s over her Just About Anywhere Wee. I
still see her near the mulberry tree, occasionally indulging. But I don’t think I’ll be
asking her to refrain from hitching up her graduation gown on the university lawn, as I
once had feared. Time has gently taken care of things, as it always does.

And I felt more than just a hint of disappointment when, at the beach just this week,
Noo asked to be taken to the toilets rather than squatting in the white wash.

After all, whether or not kids remove their shoes or remember to say thanks is not what
precious memories of childhood are made of. It’s the sweetness of mulberry trees and
garden wees that I’ll remember when they’re grown, and will forever make me glow.

Photo credit.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Kwun kwitty toodle..

I love listening to my children chatting away, mispronouncing all their words and expecting whoever's listening to understand exactly what they're saying. I really wanted to capture that stage of their lives so with each of them I quickly jotted down some of their pronunciations - as a keep sake. Even now, only six months after writing GB4's list, reading through I can see how far she's advanced.

I loved this idea because it literally took only a few minutes. So many memory-saving projects take hours, weeks, months, sometimes years! I just get totally overwhelmed and usually fail dismally. But this was so much fun!

Here are some of GB4's three year old pronunciations:

Mismas – christmas

Toodles – noodles

Gwudda – brother

Sissa – sister

Buzzy bar – muesli bar

Bolloll – bottle

Kwun – one

I doe big so – I don’t think so

Gwek – work

Gwimmipool – swimming pool

Kwitty - pretty


How cute! What do you do to preserve memories of your children's language?

Housework hints

On my quest to enjoying motherhood, I've discovered that organisation is key. Life's not all that much fun when chaos reigns (even if you're sitting doing puzzles with the kids).

One aspect of organisation is housework. Mess stresses me out pretty quickly so I find that having the house in a semi-organised state really helps me enjoy time with my kids and husband more easily. My house certainly isn't organised, or clean, or tidy. The bedrooms are usually messy, the carpet barely vaccuumed and the dishes often piled high. But I find that if I'm able to get a little bit of housework done each day, things don't become overwhelming. I guess I aim for a general state of 'a little bit messy but pretty organised' consistently.

Here's how I made my housework routine work for me. I hope it gives you some ideas!

1. I do one biggish job each day eg. tidy a bedroom, clean a bathroom, vaccuum.

2. I cycle one load of washing most days. I make sure I fold and put away the washing on the day it has dried - otherwise there's trouble. I've been known to have a washing pile two metres high, just waiting to be folded!


3. I write job charts for the two older kids. I find that from the age of three, the thought of having their own jobs and a chart that they can tick off with a texta, is very exciting for them - and very helpful for me! As an example of age appropriate chores, this is what my girls are doing at the moment:


GB4 (Daily jobs: make bed, open blinds in the morning) Mon: Tidy bedroom, tidy kiddie bookshelf/ Tues: Put away her folded washing, empty preschool bag/ Wed: Tidy bedroom, tidy kiddie bookshelf/ Thurs: Put away her folded washing/ Friday: Tidy bedroom, tidy kiddie bookshelf

GB5 (Daily jobs: make bed, homework and school readers, empty school bag, put away clean dishes) Mon: Put away folded washing Tues: Tidy bedroom Wed: Put away folded washing Thursday: Tidy bedroom Fri: Put away folded washing

This may seem like a lot but I've been doing this with them for about a year and have built it up slowly. I started them on one or two jobs a day. I think GB5 started out making her bed and tidying the kiddie bookshelf (when she was three) and GB4 started out by opening the blinds and making her bed (she also started at three).
Once they got into the swing of it, I was quite amazed by how helpful it was, not having to worry about doing a lot of those annoying little jobs!

4. The most important thing I've learnt lately about housework is to let myself off the hook. Life goes on and is just as happy if the house is dirty and the bedrooms messy. We all have off days when we can't pull it together and great days when we get heaps done. It's just part of life :o)

What's your housework routine? How do you make it work for you and your family?

How cute is the housewife photo! It's by Theresa Thompson http://www.flickr.com/photos/theresasthompson/

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Wonderful Comfort of a Child...


My apologies for the lack of post yesterday. We received two batches of bad health news about my parents so needless to say, it was a tough day. Amidst everything that was happening though, I had a beautiful moment with my littlest girl, GB4 and I wanted to share it with you.

I was sitting on the couch, trying to process everything that had happened earlier in the day and GB4 was lying on the couch listening to music, when Justine Clarke came on. All of a sudden I found myself wiggling my nose, blinking my eyes, lifting my eyebrows and looking surprised as Dancing Face began to play. GB4 certainly had her dancing face happening as she wiggled her eyebrows like the best of them. It was such a beautiful moment of joy and laughter amidst my turmoil of emotions. GB4 was so pleased to see her mummy happy again and for a moment, I was able to enjoy the care-free magic of childhood.

During the last couple of days, I've really appreciated the clarity children bring to difficult seasons. A much-loved teddy bought to comfort a teary mum, a caring stroke given by tiny hands or a softly spoken, "Are you alright Mum?" brings so much healing.

Sorry for the serious and somewhat morbid post but that's the glory of blogging - it really is about the realities of life.

xo

Dancing Face is available on I Like to Sing! on CD and DVD

The beautiful image above is from www.synapsenow.com

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Have you seen this?



:o) Hilarious!

Home made dolls and pirates

We've had so much fun making these little characters. It's been interesting watching the two girls creating their own dolls, each completely different to the other's. I helped out, especially with drawing outlines but I really tried to wait for their prompting (instead of making 'suggestions'). I wanted these dolls to be their genuine creations, reflecting their personalities.

Check out their masterpieces!

GB5 takes great pride in her work. Lines must be straight. Colouring always within the borders. Shades matching perfectly. She wanted her doll to be as close to reality as possible. What a gorgeous little girly she has created!
GB4 took an adlib approach. She likes colouring things in 'colourful' shade. Her doll has splodges of colour here and there, a green face and crazy pink hair. Don't think for a minute that any of it was unplanned though - she knew exactly how she wanted her doll to look, where the splodges would go and what colour they'd be. And don't you just love the result!

Back shot: GB4's doll (left) had two faces :o)
If you're after a bit of fun, why not make one with your child this week. Don't forget to show us your creation!


Home made dolls and pirates

You'll need...

White fabric
Textas/fabric pens
Template (hand drawn)
Pins
Needle
Thread
Scissors
Filling (eg rice, stuffing, beans)
Colourful wool (optional)

Here's how...

1. Fold the fabric in half, lay and pin the template over it and cut it all out - you should now have two pieces.

2. Now the fun begins! Give the kids free reign with the textas. They can draw on a face, clothes, hair, masks, whatever takes their fancy. The more colourful and creative the better! They can choose to make a doll, pirate, snow man, cat, cow... just modify the template to suit their imagination.

3. Now pin the fabric cut-outs together inside out (you'll probably need to do this step for them) and sew around the edge. I used the zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine which did the job quickly and neatly. Make sure you leave the top of the head un-sewed - or else you'll have a very skinny, stuck inside out doll on your hands...

4. Now turn your little person inside out, fill him and hand or machine stitch the remaining opening.

5. If you like, you can add hair, using colourful wool and a large eyed-needle. The kids will love choosing the hair colour and hair style. Plaits? Anyone?

TIP: If you're using regular textas, make sure the dolls don't get wet, hence the bleeding on our dolls' eyes. Oops!

These fun little dolls come from Jane Bull's book Crafty things to make and do.

Update: Some of you may remember GB5's plan to make a Trauma Teddy for sick children. Well, we're progressing, albeit slowly. After a few weeks of practise, we began knitting a teddy this morning, but have chosen a much more simple design. Perhaps when she's a little older we'll try for the Trauma Teddy again... stay tuned for photos of the new member of our family - and simple instructions so you can make one too!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Graffiti - is it more than just an eye sore?


It's everywhere you look (and everywhere you don't). There's so much of it around that it almost becomes invisible. Just part of the scene. Graffiti is becoming a real problem. It's ugly (although some would argue this), it's costing tax payers millions in clean up bills and it's just plain old wrong. Treating other's property with care is an important lesson, learnt in childhood but is this writing, this 'self expression', teaching our children the exact opposite?

My girls, GB5 and GB4 have reached the age where they know what's right and what's wrong. They also notice things. They notice everything.

I can't count how many times we've had this conversation;

Mum, why did they write on that house?
Some people do that because they think it might be fun but it's the wrong thing to do. It's very important that we treat other people's things very carefully and don't ruin them. The people living there must feel pretty sad that someone has written on their house...

I can see their little minds ticking over long after our conversation and I know that everytime we pass a graffitied wall, sidewalk, building - they see it. What is this teaching them? Should the government be dealing with vandalism more harshly, on account of the message it sends younger generations? I thought it was great when a judge recently sent a young woman to jail for gracing Sydney buildings with her artwork. The majority of the public didn't seem to agree though. There was an outcry. People thought the punishment too harsh, not fitting the crime.

My thought is this; if we don't deal with the problem now, how much worse will it get, as younger generations grow up thinking it the norm?

Image thanks to http://image.guardian.co.uk

Friday, November 6, 2009

Honestly - what do you want for your kids?


What kind of teenager and adult do you want your kids to be?

Hmm. That one got me thinking. I went to part 1 of a parenting seminar on Tuesday night and this is what the speaker asked us all to think about. My reactionary thought was - I don't want to decide who or what they should be, that's entirely up to them as individuals. Then I realised that as far as ethics, morals and attitudes go, I can (and probably should) have a plan in mind.

So I thought about it and here's what I'd like for my kids;

Respect and common courtesy are in short supply in society at the moment but I'd still like my children to be respectful of their elders and those in authority.

I see common courtesy and good old fashioned manners as being so important. I'd like them to give up their seats for the elderly, unwell or pregnant and show courtesy and consideration to those they meet.

I'd like my kids to be kind, considerate and compassionate members of the community; hardworking, with the confidence to chase their dreams but with enough humility to have healthy priorities; I want them to be able to give and receive love and to have great relationships, especially in marriage and parenthood.

In my mind, marriage really is the most important relationship in our lives because all other relationships stem from it. A healthy marriage breeds healthy, well-adjusted children who are then able to have healthy relationships throughout their lives. If my three manage to have a healthy relationship within their marriage, I'll be so pleased. Life is tough, but separation and divorce are heart-breaking. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to make single parents feel bad or inadequate - I was raised by a single mother who did a fantastic job and loved us all whole-heartedly (maybe even enough for two parents) but I'm sure anyone who has been through a separation or divorce would agree - you wouldn't wish it on your worst enemy.

These are my thoughts... what are yours?

Have you pondered this question for your kids or future family? What do you want for them?

Image thanks to picturepost.wordpress.com/page/36/

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Home is where the heart is

To me, the perfect house doesn't need all the latest bells and whistles, sparkling white benches and fancy light fittings. We're house hunting at the moment and the homes that grab my attention are the ones that have been loved - and loved well. You know the ones I'm talking about. They're aged, out-dated in parts and usually have a few odd paint colour choices.

When walking through these homes, you can feel the stories of those who've lived there in the past, welcoming you into their home. You can envision families eating in the dining room and children, grown by now, playing hide and seek in the yard.

I love a home with character. To buy a home and put my mark on it would be my dream. I don't want to renovate but I'd love for it to be imperfect enough so that I can still tweak little bits here and there. A splash of paint in the girls' room. Brightly coloured curtains in GB2's. A lovely cottage kitchen garden and plenty of room for running around and riding bikes.

To hang family photos, new and old and stretched oil paintings alongside etchings of old buildings and townships. A child-painted art work, framed, and somewhere, my collection of jugs, teacups and teapots. The textures of aged linen and lace contrasted with modern, angled furniture.

To me, my dream home is welcoming and warm. It isn't perfect, there is plenty of room for mistakes, accidents and star charts. Visitors are always welcome and the kettle is often freshly boiled. My home is where I look after friends and family. It's a reflection of who I am. A bit lumpy and bumpy in places, not as flashy and classy as others and certainly not expensively adorned. I'd like to hope though, a little bit friendly.

Post inspired by blogthis.com xox

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The snow globe dilemma (and other sparkly things)


I went shopping for my daughter's (GB3) 4th birthday present yesterday. I wandered the aisles of Target and various toy shops and was caught off guard by the wave of guilt that washed over me. Standing there, looking up at all those noisy, flashing, expensive toys I felt guilty about the fact that our children just don't have that many toys. Don't get me wrong, they have enough! They have a dolls house, trampoline, swings, blocks, trucks, dolls, books, bikes, making things... the list goes on and on. They're definitely not spoilt, mainly because we can't afford for them to be but looking at all these toys I wondered 'do they have enough?'

Then, to top it all off, I thought back to when our first daughter (GB5) was born. People bought her so many beautiful things, snow globes, trinkets and special boxes. I realised, my little GB4 doesn't have anything like this! So, I decided, now was the time to fix that. I wandered around some more in search of the perfect little girls snowglobe and found it. All $80 of it. A pretty little ballerina elephant, dancing to the music. I baulked and couldn't justify spending that much on a snow globe that would just sit on the shelf - no matter how perfect it was. Then I felt even worse! Eventually, I decided to put one on layby and give it to her for Christmas, or next year's birthday.

My dilemma was this. How do you decide what to buy your children for their birthdays and christmas? When is enough enough or not quite enough? Do others feel guilty about all the toys their children 'miss out' on? Is there a group of staple toys every child should have, or can creativity fill the gap? In the end, I settled on a few little ponys and polly dolls, a special box to keep them in (away from little brother GB2's curious fingers), a dress up outfit and some pretty necklaces and hair tyers. Oh, and a fun learning book.

So, do you have a price limit or size limit or no limit at all? Do you your kids more gifts or fewer on birthdays and/or christmas? Am I the only one with these thoughts?

Pretty pink picture thanks to Zazzle.com

New Kid on the Blog...

(I posted this yesterday but it came up way down below so here tis again!)

Today's new kid on the blog is... (drumroll please)...

the very lovely Cath from Squiggle Mum! I enjoy reading Cath's blog regularly. It's one place where I find inspirational parenting stories and advice, without the mother-guilt. It's also refreshing to have a mum putting her ideas out there, confident enough and humble enough to do it beautifully. Cath's ideas and tips are always practical and fun. I absolutely love her site design too - it's a really good looking site! Anyway, enough of my blabbing. Let me introduce you to Cath.

Why do you blog?
I don't think you choose to be a writer. If you are one, you just are. Words choose you. I figured I might as well be doing something productive with all my words so started blogging in November last year!

Please introduce your blog.
I blog at SquiggleMum (http://squigglemum.com) sharing ideas and inspiration for other mums. I write about indoor and outdoor crafts and activities for young kids, literacy, faith and parenting. I also share useful resources like my Tantrum Tracker. My background in primary education comes in very handy when blogging! I'm not a perfect mum (not even close) but I do try to have a positive outlook on parenting, and I hope my readers feel like they're having a conversation with a friend when they're at SquiggleMum.

What is your favourite blog?
Oh so hard to choose only one. My friend Christie (who I haven't actually met in real life... yet) just won Best Parenting Blog at the Nuffnang Awards in Singapore. Her blog Childhood101 is fabulous (http://childhood101.blogspot.com) and packed with information about the early years.

If you had a factory, what would it do?
Dip perfectly ripe strawberries into chocolate for me and remove the stalks. 24-7.

If you could jump into a massive pool or anything, what would you choose?
sparkling bubbly mineral water in the middle of a rainforest. Heavenly. Any chance my choc-strawberry factory could be nearby...?!

************************

I'm with you on that one Cath - rainforest, strawberries, chocolate, it's all sounding way too good to be true! Congratulations to Christie - what an amazing achievement! I'm on my way over to check her site out right now.

If you'd like to be a part of 'Let's Meet the New Kid on the Blog', please email me at joni.leimgruber@gmail.com

Cheers xox

Thanks cranium.com for your quirky question ideas :o)

Squiggle image thanks to http://www.sbevisdesigns.com

Friday, October 30, 2009

12 word story

This is such a fun idea for a Friday afternoon - Nambucca Valley Youth Services Centre is running a competition: tell your story in 12 words. The comp's called 12 words (caught you by surprise hey!) It's pretty fun - give it a go if you feel like it! (Don't forget to let me know if you enter too.. )

To enter the competition you need to be under 25 years but they still want others to contribute - just for a bit of fun :o)

Here's mine: Life is like a box of chocolates. It's over way too quickly.

What's yours?

PS - The very lovely Cath from SquiggleMum will be chatting about blogging tonight on connect2mums and giving away all her advice and tips (that's what I'm hoping anyway!) If you want to pick the brain of a very successful, award winning blogger (already, even though she's only been doing it for about 11 months - I think), then register and join in. The chat will stream from 8pm-9pm Qld time.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What's your take on Halloween?

Is it just me? It seems that Halloween in Australia is really taking off, last year it barely made a ripple. This year it's everywhere!

It's interesting to hear everyone's differing opinions. I'd love to hear about what you're doing this Halloween. If you're celebrating, how will you celebrate? Will you take your kids trick or treating or will they go with a group of friends? Do you stock up on treats to give out to trick or treaters? If you're not into Halloween, how will you approach 'trick or treating' children on your doorstep and why have you decided not to participate?

I'm looking forward to hearing what you think so in the spirit of sharing opinions, here's mine (assuming that you're the least bit interested!);

Halloween has been a hot topic this week in our household. My husband and I decided not to celebrate Halloween a few years back, when the American tradition became popular here. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, it's an American tradition. Do we really have to follow along with everything the Yanks do? Surely we're creative and inventive enough to think up a fun celebration of our own. I think so! Don't you? We are a smart bunch afterall :o)

Our second, and most important reason is that Halloween is directly opposite to our spiritual beliefs. As Christians, we believe in celebrating the good in life and not evil.

Having said that, we also believe that it isn't our job to go around telling people what they should do or believe. While talking to the kids about Halloween and our beliefs, we've made a conscious effort to make it clear that other families and friends may choose to do it for their own reasons and that that's their choice to make. As Charlotte Manson said, "It is very important that the child should not be allowed to condemn the conduct of the people about him. Whether he is right or wrong is not the question; the habit of bestowing blame will blunt his conscience." (or hers, obviously!) We have similar conversations when it comes to different words and phrases which some families allow and others don't.

So Halloween won't be happening in our family but I don't want to be stodgy and mean about it. The thought of turning away all those smiling little painted faces made me cringe, so I though of a solution. I made a daggy (but friendly) little sign to hang on our front door. I wanted to politely let people know that we didn't have anything to give for trick or treat, without ruining their night with yet another huffy - 'No, we don't have any lollies to give you!'

Here's my grass roots approach (down below). What do you think? If you were out trick or treating with your kids, would you appreciate signs on doors, indicating whether or not there are lollies inside for enthusiastic trick or treaters, or would you prefer to knock and find out that way? If you're not celebrating Halloween, will you store up lollies for the smiling faces waiting on your front step or not?

As I said above, this isn't a 'let's beat up on people with differing opinions' post - not at all! I just wanted to hear what everyone thinks about it...

Oh, and please vote in my Halloween poll, it would be muchly appreciated :o)

My daggy little Halloween sign:

Halloween kids photo above thanks to www.trishtrashdesign.net

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Kid on the Blog: SquiggleMum


Today's new kid on the blog is... (drumroll please)...

the very lovely Cath from Squiggle Mum! I enjoy reading Cath's blog regularly. It's one place where I find inspirational parenting stories and advice, without the mother-guilt. It's also refreshing to have a mum putting her ideas out there, confident enough and humble enough to do it beautifully. Cath's ideas and tips are always practical and fun. I absolutely love her site design too - it's a really good looking site! Anyway, enough of my blabbing. Let me introduce you to Cath.

Why do you blog?
I don't think you choose to be a writer. If you are one, you just are. Words choose you. I figured I might as well be doing something productive with all my words so started blogging in November last year!

Please introduce your blog.
I blog at SquiggleMum (http://squigglemum.com) sharing ideas and inspiration for other mums. I write about indoor and outdoor crafts and activities for young kids, literacy, faith and parenting. I also share useful resources like my Tantrum Tracker. My background in primary education comes in very handy when blogging! I'm not a perfect mum (not even close) but I do try to have a positive outlook on parenting, and I hope my readers feel like they're having a conversation with a friend when they're at SquiggleMum.

What is your favourite blog?
Oh so hard to choose only one. My friend Christie (who I haven't actually met in real life... yet) just won Best Parenting Blog at the Nuffnang Awards in Singapore. Her blog Childhood101 is fabulous (http://childhood101.blogspot.com) and packed with information about the early years.

If you had a factory, what would it do?
Dip perfectly ripe strawberries into chocolate for me and remove the stalks. 24-7.

If you could jump into a massive pool or anything, what would you choose?
sparkling bubbly mineral water in the middle of a rainforest. Heavenly. Any chance my choc-strawberry factory could be nearby...?!

************************

I'm with you on that one Cath - rainforest, strawberries, chocolate, it's all sounding way too good to be true! Congratulations to Christie - what an amazing achievement! I'm on my way over to check her site out right now.

If you'd like to be a part of 'Let's Meet the New Kid on the Blog', please email me at joni.leimgruber@gmail.com

Cheers xox

Thanks cranium.com for your quirky question ideas :o)

Squiggle image thanks to http://www.sbevisdesigns.com

Blogging inspiration


I had the luxury of going to the movies yesterday with my beautiful friend Leanne - DURING THE DAY. Wow. That's pretty decadent hey. The best part of it was what we watched: Meryl Streep in Julie&Julia. It was amazing! I'm not generally a movie drooler. I'll watch a movie once, smile and nod, maybe have a chuckle and generally move on. But not with this movie. Julie&Julia inspired me! Those bubbles of happiness ran through my veins right from the opening scene and are still floating around today. After it finished, I could've turned right around, bought another ticket and sat myself down to watch it all over again - except that I had to get Leanne to the airport, pronto!

This flick made me excited about everything all over again. Blogging, cooking and writing. If you feel like you need a bit of a chuckle and revitalise that flame within you, stroll on over to the nearest cinema and sit back and enjoy. I know, I know. It's just a casual, funny, not very life changing movie. But you never know what will be the next saviour to your senses, fanner of flames, and this movie has so done it for me. Don't laugh, it has!

Julie&Julia is based on two memoirs. One, written by Julia Child (an American cook, famous during the 60's, 70's and 80's) is about her adventures while living in France (entitled My Life in France. Quite original I thought). Julie Powell forms the other half of the equation, an unfulfilled 30 year old who decides to cook her way through Julia Child's famous cook book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking and blog about it as she goes.

Much to my great excitement, Julie still blogs! Find her here.

Let me know if you've already seen it or want to see it. Did you enjoy it too?

Have a lovely day.

Joni xox

Monday, October 26, 2009

Etsy all about Aus

Something strange happens to me when I go on Etsy. A wave of tingles rolls over my shoulders. My eyes glue themselves to the computer screen and I spend long drawn out moments, wondering whether I'd ever be clever enough to make these trinkets. I always come to the same conclusion - my Visa card would have better luck getting results via PayPal than my well meaning (but poorly executed) crafting skills. Thus said, this week's BlogThis.com.au challenge suits me just perfectly. With my imaginary $200 Etsy shopping voucher in hand, I've traipsed around the store, searching for the perfect little knick knacks to call my own - virtually, of course. And even though I'm sure, in fact I know, that crafters in America, Europe, India... in fact every other country are just as clever as our crafters in Australia, I prefer to shop locally, support the neighbours, so my list is all about the Aussies and made by Aussies. Enjoy :o)

I absolutely love chunky jewellery and this massive delight by Killer Jewels is just lovely. $12 + $4 postage.

How cute is this Hi Deer card by Small Stakes! They have heaps of other gorgeous designs too. $5 + $1 postage.


You too could make this funky little character thanks to the patterns at Twinkle Kids 2. Buy the pattern for only $3.50. Delivery via email.



I saw Julie&Julia (Meryl Streep's latest flick) today and am SO inspired... both to blog and to cook. This apron sums up the movie perfectly. Available at Wonderland Avenue for $28.50 + $2.50 postage.

Isn't he cute! This little fella and his matching bibs can be found at Indigo Elephant for $27.50 + $5.50 postage. Irresistable.


Just for a bit of timeless class, this Domany design 1960's vintage dress is at Retrospace. But not for long - it's just $25 + $7 postage!


This makes my heart flutter every time I see it. The word pendant is hand stamped, hence the gorgeous effect, dripping with character. This, and a myriad of other wonderful creations, is available at Princess Allure. $41 + $4 postage. Take a look - you won't regret it!

I didn't actually spend all my magic $$, there's about $33 remaining.. perhaps I'll keep that handy for a rainy day.

This fun window shopping excursion was inspired by BlogThis Challenge #22. If you feel like it, please pop on over to www.blogthis.com.au to vote :o)

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Kid on the Blog: Kristalee


How exciting! The first New Kid on the Blog miniview! I blogged my idea yesterday, half expecting to be met by a deafening silence (aka empty inbox) but I was pleasantly surprised to hear from two lovely ladies, Kristalee of Lola Constance Evelyn and Number Chic from Your Number is Up!

Today we're meeting Kristalee (tune in for Number Chic's miniview next Friday). Kristalee's blog, Lola Constance Evelyn, is really something special.

Let me introduce you to Kristalee:

******

Joni: Why do you blog?


Kristalee: I started my blog initially as somewhere to write the birth story of my daughter who was stillborn at 41 weeks gestation. I wrote it on a blog as I thought it was somewhere I could link people to so they can decide yes I want to read it or no I don't, without it being in their face.
As it happened I found that I needed an outlet about the journey I am now on and so it continues as an account of a mother finding her way through the loss of her baby girl.

Joni: Please introduce us to your blog.

Kristalee: It is called 'Lola Constance Evelyn' named after my daughter. I would describe it as 'sometimes happy, sometimes sad and mostly a reminder of how lucky we are to have the little people in our worlds and to appreciate every moment.'

Joni: What is your favourite blog?

Kristalee: My favourite blog is 'Meet Me at Mikes'. The author is so cute as is everything about the blog.

Joni: Do you remember the last dream you had?

Kristalee: No. I have crazy, vivid dreams every night and am amazed at what has happened in my mind while sleeping and then promptly forget within seconds! My husband was talking in his sleep last night quoting the law! He is doing his Detective Training course next week and has been studying hard. He must be having fascinating dreams at the moment!
Joni: What colour is your toothbrush?

Kristalee: I have a green toothbrush at the moment.

******

Thanks Kristalee for sharing your story with us - what a wonderful way to get your feelings out and also to leave a lasting tribute to your beautiful little girl. May the next six months be so much better than the last. xo

PS: I must thank Cath over at Squiggle Mum for inspiring this post with her monthly Real Aussie Mum posts.

PPS: Thanks also to enoma.org for giving me some question ideas :o)

PPS: If you want to be 'gotten to know' shoot me an email or just comment below... enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Volunteers, Anyone?

I've been a really slack blogger lately but let me tell you that there are many and varied reasons why. First, school holidays. That's reason enough all by itself! Secondly, we went away for a week and third, sometimes it's just great to have a break. But I'm back on the www's now and hopefully will have my lovely new site up and running sometime in the next month (or so!)

Knitting is going well. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, my five year old daughter wanted to start knitting so she could make a Trauma Teddy for sick kids. We approached it as a school holiday project but I now see that it's going to take a little longer than that... The current practise piece is very cute but, well, it's a practise piece. Not sure that the Trauma Teddy is going to happen for a while... but maybe we'll make a couple of little gifts for school friends along the way. Will keep you posted.

I've been meaning to say: Welcome to all the new followers! It's always very exciting to have a spurt in followers (even though my spurt means that I now have 16 followers. Instead of five. Everyone say woo hoo for me!) I'd love to start a new weekly activity to celebrate (I'm loving all these great blogging ideas floating around and I want to give a few a go) entitled: Let's Go Meet the New Kid on the Blog. So, the whole aim of the game is that I want to get to know the lovely people who follow my blog (and give their blog a little bit of love) - just like I love getting to know the wonderful bloggers I follow. If you want to be my very first New Kid on the Blog (and all of you would qualify for that!) and you want to answer a few short, snappy and (maybe) strange questions, flick me a quick email or comment below - whatever tickles your fancy. I look forward to hearing from you all! Don't bombard me now. I already have too much fan mail to get through as it is!

PS: I REALLY love the That Vintage earrings being given away on The Red Deer (that's them up above) so this is my little plug. The earrings are gorgous, so go take a peek - you won't regret it!

PPS: I don't really get fan mail. That was a joke. I really do want your emails. Promise! Do I sound desperate? Okay it's getting lame now.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

And the winner is...


Hi all. I'm very excited because I've just received my first ever blog award - One Lovely Blog Award! Thanks so much Mrs P :o)

So, here's how it works: Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

My new-found hobby is surfing blogs so the hardest part for me is choosing just 15 from all the beautiful blogs I've discovered!

Here are my absolute faves:

SquiggleMum I'm always inspired by the lovely posts here - and the site artwork is gorgeous :o)

bellaMUMMA
The perfect spot catch up on some beauty advice - the pics are always lovely too!

The Rockgarden Awesome, fun, a great read. That says it all!

Sleep deprived and losing it Charmingly honest about the ups and downs of motherhood.

It's impossible to be unhappy in a poncho
So, so funny! I love the art too :o)

Chic Mummy Chic and yummy - I love it!

Design Is Mine A lovely little blog: just as the name suggests :o)

GodAmongUs Lovely tidbits of Godly inspiration!

The Happy Home Such beautiful home inspiration - this chick's a genious!

Red Boots Gorgeous pics all the way from the UK..

Little Bit Funky Think creative genious/kids, think Little Bit Funky!

Life As A Goff
A fun look at life, kids and family.

Domestic Sluttery This blot is so much fun. A cheeky take on domestic godessery.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

School Holiday Project #1: The Trauma Teddy

It's been a little while since my last post... I've been working hard on my beautiful new site, soon to be ready! Take a sneak peak if you like :o) It's pretty and flowery and everything I hoped it would be. I can't wait to get started! Anyway.

I'm REALLY looking forward to the school holidays. Is anybody else? It doesn't seem to be a popular thing to admit, but I've said it. I love school holidays. My lovely little chicken, who's in Kindy this year, can't wait for the holidays to start; she's decided that she wants to learn to knit. Why would a five year old want to knit you might ask? In her words, "Because we need to help the poor people and we haven't helped them for AGES so I want to knit them something so they keep warm." Ohhh! My mummy heart melted right about now. After careful consideration we decided it might be better to knit a Red Cross teddy for sick kids instead - hopefully a little simpler to make than a jumper - and she was more than satisfied with the decision. So off we go this afternoon to BigW to buy some junior knitting needles. Has anyone knitted one of those teddys before? Is it hard? I'm an amateur knitter so I'm not really sure what I'm getting myself into. I do have a feeling that I'll be knitting a lot of it myself though...

My daugher's humanitarian heart has mine melting pretty regularly these days. It seems to have developed this year as she's seen school friends go through difficult times with one friend's parents breaking up and others falling behind in school work. When I think about it, it was the terrible Victorian bushfires that really got her started. We rummaged through the house for things that might help out and donated as much money as we could muster (which, when I counted up the coins, wasn't as much as I would've liked to have been able to give). Since then, she's been dedicated to helping people. One day she announced to her Grandma, "I'm going to try and make my school a better school... I'm going to teach everyone to be kind to eachother by being kind to them." Really? From a five year old? Again. Melting! Her favourite show was Random Acts of Kindness and she often used to say, "I want to be like that," of the people willingly and lovingly helping others. How did this happen? I have no idea. How did she go from a normal, happy but generally self-centred child, to Little Miss Humanitarian?

How beautiful is the innocence of childhood passion. Void of all knowledge of reality and self consciousness that might quench them, children's dreams and hopes seem attainable when they're being babbled about in the car home from school. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to maintain that child-like passion and desire to help?

I'll keep you posted on the progress of our little Red Cross Trauma Teddy. Suggestions more than welcome!

xox