Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Raising not managing...

I have been given a few pearls of wisdom that I want to record to remind me of when I no doubt forget!

A new friend was telling me about her weekend and she commented that her weekends were always busy because she loved them. Why? Because she loved having fun with her kids. It was so lovely to hear someone talk about spending time with their children with such joy and I wanted some of what she was having!

Another person chatted to me about the idea that parents can either chose to manage their children or raise them. Managing will focus on getting all the tasks done and being frustrated when they don't complete them. My friend with a 13 year old is still battling to get them to clean their room and I felt dread when I heard that - so many more battles ahead for me. But raising children will involve living in a mess as you seek to teach them things. There room may stay messy for awhile while they figure out the advantages of it being clean or that there is discipline and consequences for it being messy. Rather than packing up the lego make a big fortress out of it all together, leave it there to talk about the activity you did together and then all pack it away. Raising children will mean enjoying them more.

While I realise all this is easy to sit here and type and there will be many frustrations head and many lessons that will need to be taught, for now I want to focus a bit more on enjoying the lovely ladies I have.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Girls Night In.....

This year I hosted a Girls Night In for the kindergarten Mum's at MiniMe's school. The Girls Night In is an initiative of the cancer council to help raise funds for and awareness of women's cancers.

The idea was to come dressed as what you wanted to be when you grew up when you were in kindergarten or to wear something pink.

The local florist donated a bunch of pink flowers as a lucky door prize, the local spa donated a spa package for best dressed and the new cupcake shop donated some cupcakes for dessert.

I made some Martha Stewart tissue pom poms as decorations. They sounded simple but were bit more time consuming and fiddlier than I thought they would be. But they went well with the girly pink theme!

We raised $500 dollars on the night and had some fun in the process!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Doctor, Doctor, I think I am going to die in 59 seconds.

Doctor: Hold on! I will see you in a minute!

Last night I found myself in emergency (was having difficulty breathing but all ok now) at the hospital up the road and I was once again reminded that a trip to the hospital is never quick. There is a lot of waiting around - for doctors, for tests, for wardsmen to take you to the test, for wardsmen to take you back from the test, for the night staff to catch up the day staff, to get a bed, to get home again.

But I didn't mind. Emergency was full, I was assessed and treated quickly and then they looked after the more critical patients. Everyone was busy. Luckily I soon remembered that there is a lot of waiting in hospitals and as I had nothing to do while I reclined on my little couch I decided to just practice being still. Resting. Praying.

It was a wake up call to the fact that our bodies do need to rest, that we need to be still every once in awhile. Things can wait.

I haven't been blogging much recently as there have been too many other things that have to be done but I miss those quiet minutes I took to reflect. To gather some thoughts and to not feel so tossed by the waves that pound my shores. Some stillness may in fact make the seas a little calmer and easier to sail.

However, I am going to work on how to get those still moments outside the curtains of the emergency ward!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Made it monday .... lined zipper pouch

Awhile ago I found this great lined zipper tutorial and have liked experimenting every now and again with it.

This was the latest result - a present for one of MiniMe's buddies at school.

I quite like the frayed edge of the decoration but not sure how long it will stay looking nice. The Mum said she would let me know!

Once again I am thankful to all those people who put great free tutorials out there on the web for other to enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Made it monday .... disco chickens

There is a reason for my silence recently. I have been busy sewing.  First I made 20 of these chicken heads for MiniMe's class to wear to a small concert they are having at school. I had bought this brown fabric for a 70s night to use as tablecloths but didn't use it so was wondering what I would do with so I am pleased it found a use!

Then MiniMe had a school disco and so I used some left overs from the disco dress I had made for myself to make something for her from one of Mum's old patterns. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of my first adults piece of clothing I had made - a sparkly number for the school fundraiser night that had a disco theme.

There was also a Silky (from the Faraway tree) costume made for book week.

Throw is a dose of the flu and that explains were I have been!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Young love...

The other night dinner we questioned MiniMe about her rumoured boyfriend...

Me: MiniMe, do you play much with Mike?
MiniMe, grins sheepishly: Why do you want to know?
So immediately we know something is up.
U2: Do people in you class have boyfriends?
MiniMe: Yes
U2: Do you?
MiniMe: No
Me: Does someone in your class think they are your boyfriend?
MiniMe: Yes.

We then got a run down on who was whose boyfriend/girlfriend (One boy had two girlfriends!). Intriguing what goes on in Kindergarten! When we asked what this all meant, MiniMe informed us that it just meant that you played with this boy more that the others.

U2 jokingly told her she had to wait until she was 24 to have a boyfriend but then revised this to 16. My aunt and uncle have a policy that their son (13) isn't allowed to have a girlfriend till he is 14 and it was interesting once talking to him about this. He got it and was totally fine with it. It started me thinking about what we will do when boys enter our lives as more that just friends. I started then I stopped, putting it into the pile that could wait till later.

We have a way to go before I think we need to be thinking about this but those with older children, did you have an age that your children where allowed to have a 'boyfriend/girlfriend'? Did you as a teenager?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Missing socks...

I have a basket full of odd socks. I do not understand where they go. Two come off the feet but one comes off the line.

A frustrating mundane mystery.

Our linen cupboard feel apart this week so I had to reorganise it and part of the mystery was solved.

The winter sheets that I put in the dryer as it had been raining for weeks contained two of the sort after socks in the recesses of the elastic corners.

There are many more in hiding but it was satisfying to see two pairs reunited.

Were else could the lost socks be hiding?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lemonade ice blocks...

I have been feeling quite ill all day - some form of gastro!

But then U2 suggested a lemonade ice block. Why had I not thought of that - is it my medicine of choice when the girls are (genuinely) feeling sick?!

It was amazing. It could just be a coincidence but I am off the couch!

Something so good about a lemonade ice block!

What is your feeling-sick-pick-me-up?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Why I like school...

Why I like school
by MiniMe

I like school because it is like going to the circus.
Mrs B is like the clowns because she makes us laugh.
Mr L is the ringmaster and he tells us stories.
My friends are like the acrobats.
I can get popcorn from the canteen.
But school is better that the circus because I get to go everyday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The little things..

Today was a day full of little surprises, nothing major but just some little things that make you smile.

As I was leaving school this morning one little boy waved at me and said hello. I recognised him as the older brother of a boy in MiniMe's class. I then heard him say to his teacher - that is my brother's girlfriend mother. Will be asking MiniMe a few questions when she comes home!!

I had to wait for a truck to fill up with diesel at the service station, JJ was not happy about the wait. The truck driver came back with a bottle of water for her. A kindness I rarely see from a stranger.

I went to Vinnes and they had three things that I have been wanting to get but haven't yet found 'not new'. One was a red bumpy ball which JJ loves, the other a china mug for Goofy (MiniMe has a special one for her hot milo and this one today has a cute 4 on it - perfect for the new four year old!) and lastly part of U2 father's day present.

We then went to Franklins and the lady at the till let me have two of the Sun Herald Mary Poppins CD's - one for us and one for MiniMe's teacher who has been off school for the last two weeks because of an injury. MiniMe is going to be thrilled.

I finally got to trying to fix up Mum's old leather jackets - it is coming up ok. Putting black conditioner on it cover the wear and tear.May even wear it this Saturday night to the school fundraiser.

I started reading a book with my cup of tea. I forgot how much I like reading and didn't realise how much I had missed it. Didn't realise it was a book about a mother who died of cancer and left letters to her daughters but so far so good.

Our Harvest Hub started today and it was pretty simple to distribute. I am looking forward to meeting the members this afternoon.

I got 9 bananas for $5.

I just had a mango Fruche and it was as good as I remember.

They are just little things but good things.

What are your little things today?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Made it monday .... cake pops

One of the things I like most about reading blogs is the ideas that you get from other people.

I cant remember who know but someone mentioned cake pops a couple of weeks before our birthday week so I decided to give them a try.

They do look great but they were not the quickest thing to make.

I made a cake, crumbled it, let it cool over night, mixed it with some icing and cream cheese and then rolled it into balls. Stick it on a stick, dip it in melted chocolate, get them to balance upright in the holes I had made in a egg carton and then sprinkle with 100s and 1000s.

So I am not sure I will be making them again as they were very time consuming. I did see some people used crushed Oreo's and cream cheese which eliminates the cooking step. They did look pretty though and U2's work and Goofy's preschool liked them! JJ managed to steal away with some too!

Has anyone else attempted these? Did I just do things the hard way or is there an easier way of creating these?

Friday, August 19, 2011


This isnt Goofy - all images are from

At the moment I am struggling to get Goofy to talk to other people. She hides behind me and looks away when people talk to her. We are working on one word answers to 'strangers'  questions like, how are you?(and strangers includes anyone other than me, U2 and MiniMe)

So it took some prompting to get her to look Gramps in the eye and say 'thank you' for her birthday present last night. It didn't appear she was thankful by the quick glance and mumbled words that stumbled out. But then she said grace at dinner and the words just flowed out without prompting...

'Thank you for this food. Thank you that Gramps gave me lovely presents. Amen'

Amen indeed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Worry again...

I am having a sense of deja vu. Almost a year ago exactly worrying about seeing the specialist about a breast cyst I have had for years was the topic of my post and now here I am about to write about the very same cyst and a similar worry.

Having already had the ultrasound and having the radiographer tell me it looked the same as last year I went into the oncologist yesterday thinking it was just formality. One those appointments you think they just make you go to just to make sure all the right boxes are ticked. Turns out there is a good reason to get the specialist to have a look at your scans.

After quietly peering at the scans he found the cyst has changed in shape and make up slightly. Add to this that is has been slightly painful on an off for the last few months means I now have to go and get a needle put it.

Best case it that they get all the benign gunk out and it never bothers me again. But there is always that little thought in the recesses of my mind that shouts - it could be something that bothers you a lot. There is that chance that it is something worse. And while worrying about something that has not happened and we have no control over is useless (U2 would say as useless as tits on a bull), it is hard to always ignore that little voice that likes to be quite loud.

I feel like I am going ok at managing the worry though. I have spoken to a couple of people about it to get it out of my system and am focusing on some fun things ahead - like an adults only family dinner tonight! I am looking forward to spending some time with my family without being interrupted by the children. I love it when we are all together too but this is a rare and special treat!

So while that anxious voice may like to have centre stage for the next couple of weeks I am going to attempt to keep it in check. It will have its time because sometimes being anxious about something is justified (or is it? maybe not justified but understandable). But I have learnt it does not need to be the dominant main character. A lesson that is has taken me some time to learn and today I am grateful for having learnt it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Love abounds ...

Awhile ago I wrote about having a safety net. How we all have people around us who hold a net that allows us to fall but still be supported, to not be coping but be enveloped by love. People hold our nets and we hold onto others. Relationships.

What happens when you are falling and your holders are falling too? How do you fall but still hold on for them? Tricky.

Every stage of life has its challenges. The season of life with young children leaves you with little time for anything else. They need you all day and often through the night too. Physical exhaustion.

Then when you get some quiet, when they are safety dreaming, the peace is hard to relinquish and the idea of making any interesting conversation seem unfathomable. Mental exhaustion.

Lying at bed at night you think of all your friends who are having a tough time and wish you could do more to help them but then don't know where to start or how to balance that with what has to get be done. Guilt.

Do we all just land on slightly tilted parachutes because a few people have had to let go? Do we all find ourselves in the same twisted pile? Maybe when we are all in this mess we find the understanding and support we need to help each other stand up. There is an understanding that the desire is there. Love abounds.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Made it monday.... sausage rolls with hidden goodness

Last week I was tired of fighting to the younger two girls to eat all their dinner so I decided to roll all of dinner into one and see what happened.

Our Harvest Hub sends out recipes each week and this one was great. Sausage rolls packed with vegetables! U2 and I liked them too.

It says that you cant taste the sweet chilli sauce but Goofy did complain about it being a bit spicy at one point so next time I might leave that out but other than that it was a winner.

Any other recipes with hidden goodness out there?

So here is the recipe....

3.Fiona’s Sausage rolls
4 sheets of frozen puff pastry defrost while making mixture below
• 500g sausage roll mince from butcher 1 onion finely chopped 1 grated carrot 1 grated zucchini same amount of grated pumpkin 1 stalk finely chopped celery 1/2 bunch of spinach finely chopped, (you can use ½ box of frozen spinach 250g drain well) 1 cup bread crumbs 2 eggs 3 tbsp tomato paste 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce -don't worry there is no chilli taste at all for young children Milk (for brushing)

Preheat oven to 200C.
Combine all ingredients in large bowl and mix with your hands until mixture seems even. Cut puff pastry
in half so you have 8 sheets to work with. Lay the mixed ingredients along the middle of pastry then
press together both long side edges, leave ends open. Lay seam facing downwards on baking tray lined
with baking paper (or greased with oil). Brush tops of sausage rolls with a little milk when ready to bake.
Bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is brown.
You can freeze any extra sausage rolls you are not ready to cook straight away until needed
for another night.
Fiona serves this to her daughter who is 2½ with a side salad with or without tomato sauce.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Do you know what I am enjoying right now?

White Tea.

A sweet and subtle flavour from the Fujian mountains.

It has taken me awhile to cotton on to tea. I still cant palate coffee (the smell I like, the taste not so much) and I dont like black tea. But herbal tea I have grown to really enjoy. I look forward to it, desire it.

I am an avid Rooibos (red tea) drinker after my aunt visited from South Africa and got us all onto it.

I enjoy wondering around T2 and trying the different samples. I love that they give you a sachet to take home so you can try it before you commit to a whole bag.

I had this great tea cup that was lovely thin glass and it had an insert that you brewed your loose-leaf tea in then took it out. It got dropped, smashed, I replaced it, the new one got pushed off the bench. Then I couldnt buy anything new. The anticipation of a new one next year is exciting.

This cup of tea is finished, so I must start the school pick up.

What tea are you drinking at the moment?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Malignant keloid....

I went to see the dermatologist today and she decided I was worth some show and tell. So she called in the nurse so she could show her this interesting case - me! 

I have always know my scar is not the smallest around but when she was describing my malignant keloid as one of the worst cases you would see I must admit it made me feel a little better. I am not being a complete woose when I complain about it being sore, itchy and ultra sensitive.  

I haven't really had a good look at it in awhile and so taking a photo of it and actually looking at it was actually a bit of a surprise and this is it looking better than it did 2 months ago!

I have just started getting regular steroid injections into the scar in the hope that it will flatten and be less symptomatic. So far it has been great. I started rubbing it yesterday and realised that I had been doing that for the last few weeks which is a very pleasant change. She doubled the strength today so it will be interesting to see what happens.

I dont think it really is one of the worst cases, I am sure there are people who have been in car accidents etc who have worse but for today I will take the sympathy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Buy nothing new for a year...

Sometimes we commit to something and then wonder what on earth we were thinking, why are we making life harder for ourselves!? Our decision to buy nothing new for a year has left me feeling the complete opposite. As I have mentioned before we are trying to buy nothing new for a whole year. The aim was to save money, reuse, recycle and also there was the curiosity of what life would be like.

So what has life been like?

I don't spend time at the shops. I go up to the local grocery store for our food but I very rarely venture to the larger local Westfield, expect if I am going to Medicare etc. I also spend less time at the shops as I am not going back to return my impulse buys before the exchange time runs out! It was amazing the things I would buy with the intention to decide on them later because I could always bring them back. I have learnt that if I cant decide then and there then I really don't like/need it.

When I am at the shops I just get the things done I went to do. No browsing and picking up little goodies or things on sale that are so cheap I cant not get them! So we are definitely saving money.

I have discovered op-shops and all the great treasures that there are. It satisfies the part of me that does like shopping but I have learnt that just because it is cheap, doesn't mean I need to buy it. I refrained from a pair of roller blades for MiniMe today!

There have been a couple of slips ups but I thought about them and decided that they were worthy exceptions. The main one has been Goofy's birthday. MiniMe and JJ both had birthday just as we started no buying anything new so I had already purchased their presents. We felt that buying some presents for Goofy was only fair. Interestingly when I did go to buy hers I bought only a few things, relatively quickly and was happy with each purchase. Not my usual shopping experience. We have also decided our trip to SA at the end of the year will be a break as we are unlikely to return there again.

So I think my attitude to shopping has changed. I think I will always enjoy the occasional walk around the shops but the temptation to want everything I see has definitely waned. The shops have lost a little of their shine. I have also enjoyed thinking a bit outside the box and being a bit more crafty as a result.
I have been enjoying the challenge of not buying anything new and think it has been a very worthwhile experiment for me to learn about how and why I shop. I don't feel like I am missing out on anything. My buying patterns will definitely be changed when the year is up and in a positive way. So I am very grateful to my friend who put me onto this challenge in the first place. Thanks, MM!

How do you think you would go if you stopped buying new things for a year?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Taking it slow....

Today I decided would be a home day. I have on my ugg boots, old tracky pants and Mum's fleece top (this outfit may need to change for preschool pick up). The radio is going and I am tidying. It is good.

Life has been hectic of late. So many places to be and things to make happen. All good stuff but just a lot of good stuff. I needed a slow day or I felt like I would combust into a pile of dust and really there is enough things to be cleaning up around here so I don't need to add to it!

I have realised this morning the importance of slowing down and sometimes saying no to activities, even if good. I was booked in to go to pilates at lunch time, my last session in a package. MIL was kindly going to have JJ so I could go. I have been the past few Tuesdays and while great it takes up the whole afternoon till pick up time and I miss one of my two quiet times I get in the week when JJ is alseep and no other children are home.

Today the quiet is more important. I woke up feeling heavy from the to do list in my head and the people I need/want to look after. I feel a fraction lighter from have some space to think and feel calmer for having a little bit of order around me.  

Now I think it is time to put my feet up and enjoy some mushroom and avocado on toast ....

Monday, August 8, 2011

Made it monday ... birthday cake

Goofy spent hours paging through the cake book and came up with the cake for her birthday.

It is basically mars bar slice made pushed into a cake mould. She doesn't really eat cake, just icing, so I thought this was the perfect cake for her.

I am not sure I will make it again. The rice bubbles went a bit soft and chewy and it didn't quite have enough mars bar mixture holding it together. But the idea is great and I am sure with a bit of tweaking it would be great.

It also doesn't look that great when it comes back up! I look at the photo and the image of milky brown rice bubble vomit nestles in my mind. Why you ask?

Goofy had a gymnastics party and at the end the birthday girl got to go on a big disc and be swung and spun around. Then straight upstairs for party food! As we then headed downstairs to say goodbye to everyone Goofy began to vomit, on the expensive gym mat, on my pants, my hair ..... She then went home and had pizza for dinner and custard for dessert!

A memorable birthday.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Made it monday ... boy stuff..

For a change I have been working on some boy projects!

It has taken me awhile but I wanted to make something for my brother's two boys.

I decided to make the 2 and a half year old a pillow case and some PJ's to go with this new big bed!

The baby is just learning to sit so I went for something to cushion his fall. (I know, more cushions but this should be the last!)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fruit and Veg...

So for a few years we travelled out to the markets, bought boxes of fruit and veg, divided them up in to 12 boxes for 12 families and then delivered them in localish areas. We did this once every 3 months. The other weeks another family made the journey. For $10 a week we got a box delivered to our door.

Saturday sport entered our lives and I was the co-ordinater and both were making it tricky to be part of the group any more. Especially as I  was needed to top up each week anyway with more fruit.

Enter Harvest Hub.

A mum from school would bring the large blue cooler bag to school for me, full of my fruit and veg. For $30 a week I get everything I need and it is all fresh, local produce. And we get to say 5 things we never want to see if our bag - no more green capsicums for us! Easy.

But she is moving in couple of months so arrangements has to change.

I decided to become a 'hubster'. In return for the fruit and veg for my area being delivered to my house, me dividing it into the cooler bag and people collecting it from me (max 12), I get free fruit and veg.

Sounding pretty good! Will see how it goes.

About to go and walk to the streets to see if I can find some members to get it all started....

Visit - for more information.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

23rd July....

Five years ago today my mother had just died. My brother walked into the room and took his place beside her with my Dad and myself and she took her final breath, with all of us together. The couple of weeks that followed were special. My family and I entered a bubble for a time and there was something very safe and secure about being together. Remembering the joyful times and rejoicing that Mum was no longer in pain and in heaven happy. There was sadness but hope.

The last five years has gone quickly but also feels like no time at all. So much has happened and changed. Four new grandchildren for a start. I often wonder what would have been different had Mum still lived up the road. Would I be different? I think I would have to be. I don't think you go through grief and not come out on a different path.

Time does lessen the pain, although when I think back to the last few weeks I can not help but think that this impending date has not contributed to things not working.  JJ often scream and pulls on my leg until I pick her up and cuddle her. She smiles and give me a (snotty) kiss, happy, content and quiet. Sometimes we just want our Mums, their cuddles make things better. I still want my Mum. I don't think that will ever go away. I have just learnt not to scream and don't have a leg to pull on. But I have all the things that she has taught me and that is a good thing.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The history of a great love....

It started with Sesame Street and Big Bird, I was hooked, enamoured.

Young Talent Time was a could not miss in my primary school years. I did admire the people close to my own age who were so confident and talented but really I just enjoyed the singing and dancing.

Press Gang was part of my early teenage years. British kids running their school paper but uncovering crooks along the way. My brother gave me a copy of all the seasons a few years ago and it was great going back and watching it again. Maybe I saw a bit of myself in Linda. She was intelligent and organised but didn't always know how to communicate well so came across as bit bossy. And of course there was the Spike and Linda romance ... will they, wont they?

I had long discussions with my parents about how I was being left out at school because I didn't watch Beverly 90210 and couldn't contribute to the lunch time discussions. Eventually they relented and Dylan and Brenda and the gang raised topics in my teenage head that I hadn't thought about and started pondering.

Felicity and I entered university at about the same time. There was something reassuring about hearing her thought processes. She too was unsure of her decisions. My brother and I would often watch it late at night together.

I began to think in the unique way that Dawson, Joey and Pacey talk after the birth of MiniMe. A friend lent me Dawson's Creek on DVD while I was breastfeeding so I entered the make believe world of Dawson's Creek for few months.

When Mum was sick U2, my brother and I watched lots of Scrubs together. In Mum's final days it  must of looked strange to the nursing staff that we sat in front of the portable DVD players whilst Mum slept watching a show that made light of hospitals and laughed at Dr JD and Turks antics. But it helped, laughter is good medicine.

In the time after Mum died I ploughed through Gilmore Girls, a story of a mother and daughter. I laughed, I cried, I wanted to name my next daughter Lorelei! It made me thankful for the mother/daughter relationship I had and contemplate the ones ahead of me.

There have been many more shows that I have been addicted enjoyed. I was loyal to All Saints till the very end. Grey's Anatomy, Biggest Loser, Masterchef, Private Practice, briefly Home and Away, Parenthood, Brothers and Sisters, Glee, that 70s show, How I meet your mother, Packed to the Rafters and many more have stolen many hours of my days and nights.

Lately it has been Offspring. Something about it hits the right note. In some ways it feels a bit more like reading a book when you can hear Nina's thoughts too, you know more about her. And she too is fraught with indecision.

But I feel like the love affair is coming to an end. Now that Offspring has ended for this season, Masterchef is almost over and Packed the Rafters has gone AWOL I am left to decide what I will spend my time on in the evenings and surprisingly the thought running through my head is to give up the beloved  box. My time would be better spent and better enjoyed elsewhere I think. Books, crafting, sewing, phone calls to friends, blogging .... the options are endless.

What is your relationship to the box? Could you go without it? What would you miss?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Made it monday .. more cushions..

The front

The back

What to get my 17 year old cousin for her birthday?

What is becoming somewhat of a regular gift from moi?

A cushion.

I spotted a barren chair in her room and thought this might spruce it up a bit and help add some comfort to those long nights of study.

Friday, July 15, 2011

PJ's and painting...

Goofy's attire for the day.

Last night I declared that today would be a PJ day (we were having a home day). The girls have loved staying in their pyjamas all day.

At breakfast I told them they could open the finger paiting MiniMe got from her birthday from SIL. Something to look forward to when JJ went to bed after lunch. It was a hit.

They were happy (on the whole) today. They didn't ask for the TV to go on. They found things to do. One activity was cleaning the dining table for me - they scrubbed and scrubbed and enjoyed doing it.

I am not sure what it was that changed. Maybe it was talking to SIL yesterday afternoon. Maybe it was going to pilates last night after the girls had dinner last night and then having dinner for two with U2. Maybe it was deciding to do some entertaining on the weekend. Maybe it was sleeping well. Maybe it has been getting rid of some of the clutter today.

Whatever it was, I am thankful that things are working better today.

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Something is not working...

I am on the edge. Goofy and JJ have both been serenading me with that high pitched demanding cry for
 what seems like weeks now. I got to the point today where I jovially told Goofy my head was going to explode and what did she think that was going to look like. She smiled.

I feel like I am missing something. Something has changed in our house and it has caused a domino effect of sadness and crankiness. I just wish I knew what had made that first domino fall so that I could go back.

JJ has suddenly become difficult to go to bed at day and night - teeth, separation anxiety, developmental changes? Goofy cries at the drop of a hat - the prerogative of an almost four year old? MiniMe is grumpy and at times is showing quite an attitude - mid year kindy crankiness? Mummy's reserves are running low.

We went to the park today and I don't feel like I had a single conversation. Between Goofy crying because she wanted to go home (and then crying because she wanted to stay!) and JJ wanting to be carried or crying because she had fallen over I wondered why I had gone out.

Now I realise I am probably sounding like my children. If I was saying this out loud I would also sound cranky, sad and annoying. Maybe this is where the problem lies. I think I need some better strategies up my sleeves to deal with life when the crankiness of others is hitting me on the head like a toddler who wants a biscuit from the pantry. I need another strategy - because hitting back ain't working! (and I mean that figuratively not literally!!).

How do you over come those tougher parenting periods in life?

Thursday, June 30, 2011


There is a mouse
It is living in our house
I wish it was not
I wish it would rot
Goofy would like it for a pet
Of that she can forget
I have looked here and there
I have looked everywhere
In the pantry I expect to see
It's beady eyes fixed on me
I know I am bigger
But my fear you do trigger
Please leave our house
Little brown mouse

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

When words fail....

There are times when you know that your words will not be enough. One of my dear friends is hurting today. Her mother lost a very long battle with cancer last night. My heart aches for her.

My friend is, as always, gentle and faithful. She rejoices in the fact that her mother has gone home to her Saviour but she still feels the acute pain here and now that her absence brings.

So while I know no words I can utter will reduce the pain she is feeling and no actions will ease the pain in her heart, I will hug her with my prayers.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Half way through Act 2 MiniMe leaned over to me and gave me a big squeeze cuddle and whispered 'This is the best day ever'.

For a six year old (and her mother) the day couldn't have been better.

She woke up at her grandparents house after a sleepover. I picked her up and we went to my Dad's house were the three of us the walked to the ferry. A ferry ride over the blue harbour waters landed us at Darling Harbour where we then walked to Chinatown.

Choosing her own lunch at Yum Cha with a tall apple juice on the side and the anticipation of the 'movie' building.

A short wander through Paddy's markets where everything is at your level to touch and play with. The excitement growing as around the corner .... the capitol theatre awaits .... Mary Poppins live on stage.

M&M's and some 'Lovely Lemonade' in hand, perched on her cushion, MiniMe was enthralled for the 2 hour and 40 minute show. It was an amazing production. The sets and the cast were particularly amazing. Slightly different to the movie in order and storyline but that didn't distract for her (or me).

A large ice cream at the Lindt cafe that was too big to finish and a ferry ride as the sun set over the harbour to finish the day.

Home in time for bed.

An amazing day thanks to my generous Dad.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I have liked the idea of getting an ottoman for quite awhile - literally putting your feet up at the end of a long day. But I didn't want to pay hundreds of dollars for one (and cant at the moment!).

I have also wanted to get rid of our two huge bean bags that lurk around the house.

The two ideas collided and the black ottoman pictured above was the aftermath!

Now the only problem is that we only have one so I think I will need to make another one.

The cushion on the chair is one I made a little while ago - we are going a bit stripey at the moment. I found this material shop that sells fabric like our original cushions. The black fabric was all from remnants which made it even more economical!

Might go put my feet up now....

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Enjoying a bit of craftiness...

This morning I spent a lovely couple of hours with a much loved friend chatting and knitting. It made me realise why so many of my mothers generation have a 'stitch and bitch' group. My knitting was easily portable and gave me some time to do it during the day which I would never do at home and I got to chat to my friend while I did it, another favourite past time.

We may have got more done without our toddlers running around but that is just the way it is at the moment. I am hoping we will still be 'stitching and bitching' when all our children are grown and maybe they have their own toddlers running around!!

I did go to another craft group a  month or so ago with a friend who meets with her mothers group and assorted acquaintances for a craft night. I enjoyed seeing what other crafty things people were up to and getting some ideas from others on my own projects. It was nice meeting some new people who had a shared interest. The talk was not all crafty and they all seemed like a nice bunch of ladies. I plan to drop in when I can.

After my Mum died the counsellor I saw recommended I embrace the craftiness in me. Mum was very much a crafty gal and it was/is a nice way of still feeling connected to her. It is also great as a mother as craft can give me a sense of accomplishment. While the washing is a never ending task and the kitchen and the clothes sorting..... craft has an end. When you finish a project it is complete and you have something to show for it. You can hold it in your hand and see what you have accomplished, or see it walk out the door to the school for dress up day.

So I am enjoying making things ... what are you enjoying?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Made it Monday scarf

MiniMe wanted to wear a scarf to school. We are lucky enough to be given lots of great hand me downs - some of which include some Country Road children's scarves. I wasn't sure about these going to school and making it back home again so I rummaged through my tub of wool supplies (I have A LOT of inherited craft supplies from my mother) and found two balls that kind of match her uniform and started knitting.

This was the result.

Probably not what I would have bought but MiniMe loves it and it is nice and soft and will keep her warm on those cold winter mornings.

Now Goofy wants one....

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday's forecast...

We are heading away this weekend. Most of the families from our church are going. There are going to be lots of people and lots of children. MiniMe and Goofy are very excited. So is U2.

So far I haven't caught the excitement. I look ahead and cant help but see of the potential frustrations and hardships.

I think part of my dreary outlook comes from a dreary week. The weather has quite literally been damp and fairly miserable. But it is more the constant crying from JJ and whinging from the older two that has worn me down. I feel like I am just clinging onto the end of the rope so the idea of a weekend away feels like a lot of energy that I don't have.

But then maybe this weekend if what I need. Maybe it will provide the sunny change that I need to lift the spirits. Maybe it is blue skies and sunshine that awaits me this weekend. Maybe I need to change the forecast in my head to give it a chance.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shopping .... love and hate

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I only have JJ at home during the day. My list of jobs to do at the shop had grown so I thought it was time to venture out yesterday - Medicare etc awaited. Not buying new things this year has meant my outings to shops are very few so I was kind of looking forward to it after a weekend cooped up inside. Me causally wandering around pushing the pram, a bit of window shopping as I went between my places of business.

What was I thinking?! One child at the shops does not make for a peaceful trip when that child is 15 months old and has a sudden aversion to the pram (as I discovered!). The memories of trips to the shops with MiniMe flooded back and I realised I had made a mistake in my plans for the morning.

So what did I decide to do this morning with my 15 month old?

Back to the shops.

I enjoyed the drive to the shops. I went back to my childhood stomping ground and I enjoyed the memories that came back. The scenery by brother and I past as we drove to school, the places we had donuts as a child, shops Mum bought little things for me, the butcher shop were there was a young guy who use to wave at me.... 

I got the things on my list done which felt like an achievement but JJ did not enjoy the experience. Lucky for her I think we are done for awhile now.

The last two days have reminded me that every once in awhile I do like to pursue the shops but only every once in awhile and probably an activity best done without children for now!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Three lessons I learnt this week, the hard way...

Lesson No. 1 - Three year olds will wander.

I was doing some work for the chocolate drive in the school office photocopier and I hadn't seen Goofy for a few minutes. I poked my head out and still couldn't see her. I figured she was in a room next door as JJ was coming in and out and Goofy' cousin. Three head pokes out later and still I didn't see her I decided it was time to investigate further. No where. I went our to the outdoor area and if she had been seen. They had seen a little red head walk out, wave goodbye and keep going (they were in the midst of counting money so didn't think too much about it). The day before I had heard about a potential abduction at a nearby school. Immediate panic arose. I ascertained that she hadn't been with anyone. Slight exhale out. Calling her name across the school yard I made my way back to our car and sure enough there was my little red head casually leaning against the car parked across the road from the school. Tears in the end I race over in relief and anger. Why did she do it? 'I can'. She wanted to go so she went back to the car and can now cross the road by herself she informed me. She really didn't think she had done anything wrong. It took the whole day to convince her it wasn't a good idea!

So I learnt that my three year old is getting independent and while I think she will always say close by it appears I am wrong. She will do what she wants because she can. At least I learnt this lesson when it had a happy ending!

Lesson 2 - Six year olds are only six

MiniMe didn't want a bath tonight. So she stood watch of JJ while I went to get the pyjamas. Just to make sure she didn't face plant in the water. I open the door to find MiniMe warming her sisters in the bath by dangling the electric heater over the bath water! Quick lesson to MiniMe on how water and electricity do not mix and an important lesson for me that MiniMe is only six and hence only has so much wisdom.

Lesson 3 - There is no point being a double checker if are you checking the wrong thing.

I had to go to work in the city this week and got the wrong address and wrong time. I knew I was in Macquarie street so checked my information sheet numerous times but failed to check it was the right Macquarie street seminar location. Fortunately I had planned to be there quite early as I didnt know how long peak hour traffic would take so I had time to relocate! (As an aside - $54 for under three hours of parking!!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mini Me's first school speech.....

My family are at the zoo.
Goofy is a lion because she has red hair.
JJ is a monkey because she clings to Mummy and makes a noise like a monkey.
Daddy is a bear because he is big and strong.
Mummy is a bird, feeding all her chicks.
I am an elephant because I am good at remembering things.
We like being a family.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Made it moday... mermaid tail

Goofy had a mermaid party to attend on the weekend and our mermaid dress up was way too big so I came up with this number. She wanted to be Ariel as she already had the red hair!

I am so appreciative of all those crafty people out there who put detailed tutorials out there for the rest of us to enjoy.

This one can be found her-.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I had thought of having spaghetti and meatballs for dinner tonight.....

I think the girls would be pleasantly surprised by this one... it is chocolate cake covered in spaghetti icing, with Ferrero Roche meatballs smothered with raspberry sauce!!

Check out here for other wacky desserts

Monday, May 23, 2011

A good week...

Nutella returned to our house - another good thing!!
It started last week with a win at soccer on Tuesday night. Our soccer team has never won a game and we won against the undefeated team, the Crazy Pixies I think they are called! Still looking for a name for our team if you have any ideas?

To celebrate we went for a drink at the pub and then went a saw a movie - on a school night and everything!! The movie had been planned for awhile as a birthday present from my friend but it all worked very nicely. I think the last time the four of us had been to the movies was probably a babes in arm showing. We saw Water for Elephants which I thought was excellent and beautiful.

Wednesday I took my MIL and SIL to Burnt Orange for their birthdays (didn't buy anything new!) and it was a gorgeous autumn day with great food and great company.

Friday MIL kindly looked after JJ so that I could take Goofy to gymnastics and actually interact with her. I then took her to lunch and we did some shopping together. We both had lots of fun, just the two of us.

Saturday saw friends from Brisbane at our place for lunch with some of the old gang. Birthday party for our godson were I unexpectedly got to catch up with an old friend that has been on my mind of late.Then a roast lamb dinner at the in-laws. All very good.

Sunday after church we had a kindergarten picnic in the glorious sunshine with new friends.

Sunday night you may have seen disco lights out on our street from the impromptu family disco. The girls eyes sparkled with joy. Priceless.

Today was a quiet day. Bit of tidying up, ordered some patterns from USA which is exciting. Chicken pie with SIL and her kids tonight. Offspring to look forward to with the American chocolate that SIL left for me.

Life is busy but all good.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Planning for the best....

I was given a pearl of wisdom today which I thought I would share.

Instead of planning for the worst case situation, plan for the best case.

I think I tend to plan for the worst case situation and so it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Goofy is going to whinge at me for food all day and that is going to be annoying and I will get my cranky pants on and so will she. Sure enough, that happens most afternoons.

Today I am going to plan for the best case scenario. Goofy wont ask for food from afternoon tea till dinner. I don't often think about afternoon tea so it ends up being a long drawn out process with me constantly plugging them with bits of food. So I am going to have a plate of afternoon tea ready for her when she gets home for preschool and explain that this is all the food there is till dinner. All with a smile on my face!!

Will see how it goes......

Monday, May 16, 2011

Recreating the balance

Families are like mobiles, or so I once read. There is a balance in each family that creates stability, harmony. If one piece changes it throws the whole balance off. Everyone needs to shift to accommodate this change to make sure that the overall balance is maintained.

When my Mum died almost five years ago now, our mobile was forced to shift, life felt like a yo yo as we all adjusted to the piece that was removed. The family communicator was gone, the one who knew what all the other pieces were doing was no longer there to keep us all up to date.

As we have just past another mother's day and birthday I have been reflecting on our new balance. It feels like after five years we may have settled. I don't feel so tossed around. The are constant adjustments but I think our mobile is calming down.

This is not to say that the missing piece is not always felt. The weight of Mum's absence has become part of the new balance. She will always be a part of all the pieces.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This is the stuff....

So I have been getting a little bogged down by the things of everyday life at the moment but have just discovered this song.

This is the stuff by Francesca Battistelli

'In the middle of my little mess, I forget how much I am blessed.'

So this week I am going to try and focus on remembering how much I am blessed rather than focussing on the mess....

Check it out..... and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cake stall....

I attended the preschool AGM at the beginning of the year and I thought it would be a good idea to help out with something to get to know people at the preschool as I failed miserably to do this when MiniMe was there.

How hard could it be to organise the cake stall for the fun day I thought, so I put my hand up.

Finding other food stall proved difficult but we finally have a coffee van and a fairy floss machine. Now I need to get baked goods for the cake stall.

I have never purchased anything from a cake stall and am not sure what I would buy if I were too.

So my questions are: -
What have you bought?
What would you buy?
How much would you pay?