Née Say: They Say

I wrote this post a month ago & thought I should post it before a new year ticks over.

I’ve mentioned before how slack I have been with baby books etc. One thing I wish I’d captured more is the funny things my boys say.

I know the whole “kids say the darndest things” caper doesn’t make for a very interesting post but please indulge me (or click away) while I jot down a couple of lines for prosperity.

Will (5yr)

“I wish I could do all the hard work for you mum, so you could relax and just have a lazy day” (I’m sure you can appreciate why I needed to immortalise this one!)

“I’m never having kids incase they turn out hilarious like us!” (I think he means to say horrendous)

“But why?” (repeat 10 times for full effect)

Bam Bam (2yrs 7mnths) All of these can be repeated LOUDLY numerous times for realistic re-enactment.

“Waz that?”

“I no like it!”

“Yet now?”

“No way, Ho-zed!”

“No pleeping, mummy”

“No pwease, fank ooo”

And my fave:
“wuv ooo”

You’ll notice with Bam Bam, there is a very strong theme – “No”!

My boys are growing up so quickly so please excuse my little sentimental reflection.

Did you record things your kids said when they were little?

Née xx

Advertisements

My favourite party theme: “Stress Free”

I know that for some people parties are a BIG deal. Months of planning, cooking and preparing in anticipation for the big day. I think when an innocent gathering of people requires a theme, you know it is serious business.

Out of all the possible party themes, my favourite is “Stress Free”

I grew up in a house where getting stressed and flustered was (& still is) par for the course when it came to hosting any sort of social gathering. I can tell you under no uncertain terms, it’s not for me. I know I get overwhelmed pretty easily these days so I try not to exacerbate the situation with added complications.

Don’t get me wrong, I love attending events that have been beautifully coordinated. I’m so amazed by people who painstakingly hand make invitations, decorations and themed party food. Rest assured if you’ve managed to coordinate your tableware with the birthday boy’s outfit, I will certainly appreciate your efforts.

I really hope your child does too, because the cynical practical side of me believes that when it comes to a small child’s birthday, all they really care about are balloons, the cake, the party bag and being the centre of attention. And of course, the presents. (This probably applies to many grown ups, too)

Nothing is going to cast a shadow over little Bobby’s birthday party more than mummy freaking out that her cake pops are pooped. Or when the fire truck entertainment rocks up full of male strippers.

That is why for the Wilful One’s birthday this year I did something the pre-kid me never thought I’d do. We had a party at Macdonald’s.

Yes, I know, it’s all a bit bogan, but he really wanted to have a party with some close pre-school friends who he won’t see next year when they all go off to school. He’s never asked for daycare friends to come to a party before, always content with our predominantly family affairs and I couldn’t say no.

My dilemma was that at this stage I had already set my sights firmly on the “stress-free” birthday theme, and with the mandatory family celebration was already on the agenda.  I examined various options for outsourcing and in the end Macca’s won the bid.

Yes, it was run by a clueless 15yr old. No, it wasn’t flash and it certainly wasn’t how I would have done it. But The Wilful One ate ice-cream cake, felt like a prince, had lots of fun with his mates and quite frankly, that is all that matters to me.

Happiness at 5: Ice-cream cake

The Maccas soiree was followed by a low-key afternoon tea with the family en-masse, which once, again he loved as all the prerequisite boxes had been ticked. Balloons – check. Presents – check. Centre of attention – check. Oh and yet another cake – check.

This cake is ridiculously easy to make and is lots of fun.  I found it at The Tipsy Hostess (via Pinterest)

Apart from Macdonald’s I’m yet to pay for party entertainment. I think it’s prudent to save magicians and sumo suits for when pass-the-parcel and piñatas no longer keep pint-sized party goers amused.

I realise this time is fast approaching. That’s why I’m glad there are so many fabulous bloggers out there who rock some serious party mojo.  When my stress free no-frills approach to birthday celebrations no longer cuts it with the guest of honour, I’ll be turning to the following ladies to help up the ante:

Maxabella Loves: Bron is currently doing a wonderful series on all elements of hosting children’s parties. She’s got the whole planning caper down to a tee and there are lots of links and pics from other great online sources.

Great fun 4 kids: Simone is the party queen. Her parties inspire (& intimidate) me!  She has a whole page dedicated to invitations, recipes, decorations, the works. THEN she has a link up page where other bloggers can add their party posts as well. There are some amazing posts there.

Planning with Kids: Nicole is the Planning Queen and parties are no exception. She has lots of great posts and even has a Parties with Kids eBook.

So, when it’s time for me to step up, I know I’ll be able to find loads of inspiration and helpful tips in my hour(s) of need.

What’s your party style? Do you always have a theme or do you opt for stress-free like me?

Linking with Jess @ Diary of a Stay at Home Mum

Balloon image via We Heart It 

Things I know: A week of celebration!

The colour of Champagne

Wow, it has been such a huge week. And it’s not done yet! We’ve had quite a few things to celebrate so here’s the “Things I know” wrap up:

 I know I’m so super duper happy that my boy was finally accepted into the school we wanted. The relief when they phoned opened a flood gate of tears (for me). He is very excited and so ready.

I know the Christmas holidays will drag as I’m going to be asked every day “Can I go to my new school yet?” !!

I know 13 years ago not many people would have thought that The Man and I would still be together, let alone happily married with a menagerie.

I know that the Wilful One was so excited to turn 5 this week. He had an awesome time at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary on his birthday.

I know that I was grateful The Organised Housewife posted egg-free cupcake recipes just in time for me to make 2 dozen of them for preschool (they were a huge hit!)

I know that Saturday night I will have a very tired but happy boy after two back-to-back birthday celebrations.

I know seeing Pam Ayres perform live was fantastic. I took my mum as an early birthday present and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. An amazing lady with a wicked sense of humour.

Of course, there is a flip side to everything and there are a couple of things I know I’m not so excited about this week:

I know that I’m going to spend the rest of the day doing housework and stressing over  dust bunnies and crumbs. I know it’s needless as my family love me regardless of cobwebs.

I know that I’m so sad that my 5 week holiday is over and I have to return to the grindstone next week.

I know that I was a bit ambitious in all the things I planned to do while I was on leave but at least I made it through 3/4 of my list (ok maybe 2/3).

I also know that the end of my holiday signifies that Christmas is approaching like a freight train. Time to get organised. Eeek!

Have you had something to celebrate this week? Please share!

Linking up with Shae from Yay for Home for Things I Know.

 

 

 

 

Image from We Heart It

It’s all fun and games: a letter to my boys

To my dearest boys,

When will you learn that it is all fun and games until someone…

  • gets punched in the stomach
  • headbutts the brick fireplace
  • gets hit in the face with a metal train
  • face plants the tiles
  • gets whacked in the boy bits

Yes, all of these things sound familiar because they have already happened and more.

I understand you are boys. I know you like playing rough.  I will even go so far as to say I vaguely understand how it is beneficial to your manchild development by building resilience and other important… stuff.

However, I am here to tell you that I am not a referee. Nor am I one of those trainer types who runs onto the field to staple someone’s eyebrow back together. (Although for a while there I did fancy being a team physio so I could massage torn hamstrings for the likes of Dan Carter. Your father’s torn calf muscle earlier this year cured me of all such delusions).

The long and short of it is, at the moment you are both small and the tussles you have are mostly play. They resemble WWE Wrestling – big and showy but no one takes them seriously.  

However, I know there will come a time when these little skirmishes will become more testosterone-infused and we will have an all out brouhaha on our hands.  Things will get broken and there will be serious injuries. This is not an appealing prospect for me.

So my darling boys, please remember: 

It’s all fun and games until your mother has to turn the hose on you.

Linking up with  Jess @ Diary of a Stay at Home Mum for IBOT.

 

Mothering My Way: Perfectly Imperfect

1268873202badmother_large

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my mothering skills lately. I’ve drafted so many half-posts and never felt it was the right time to publish them.

When Kate @ Picklebums put a call out for declarations of being  perfectly imperfect, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to reflect on a whole gamut of feelings I have about the issue. So here’s an acknowledgement of some of my major imperfections as a mother (and a human):

  1. I can be very impatient
  2. I have very low tolerance for repetition & excessive noise (both occupational hazards of parenting under 5’s)
  3. I yell too much & sometimes smack
  4. I don’t always model the behaviours I expect from my children
  5. I don’t do a lot of craft or structured activities with the kids at home
  6. I sometimes lose it – big time

Being a heart-on-my-sleeve type of person, I find it difficult (and think it’s unrealistic) to hide my emotions from my children.

I do say sorry a lot and tell them they are loved always.

In light of all my mothering deficits, I’m constantly amazed that my children are :

  • Loyal, loving & affectionate
  • Empathetic & caring
  • Polite & respectful
  • Full of imagination & independence

It would seem I have really good kids. Their teachers have remarked to me on a number of occasions what wonderful little men they are and how they wish they had more in the centre like them.

Now, I’m not sure how much of that is nature and how much is nurture, but surely I can take some credit?

1119196120e264fe6fl_large

No matter how much I beat myself up about my flaws, my children will always the benchmark for my mothering. They can bring out my very worst but they also push me to strive to be a better me. A more patient, tolerant and fun me.

I may be an imperfect mother, but if my children are the measure, then I am perfectly so.

 

perfectly imperfect 2011 button

 

 

 

 

 

Images from We Heart It

Wordless Wednesday

My father-in-law has just bought a boat. Miami Vice style.

Something tells me he will have a little competition for the title “Captain”

Linking up with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday

My Little Drummer Boys

 

 

Things I know… now that I’m a Mum

21st April 2009 - Bam Bam 1 day old, The Wilful One 2.5 yrs

With the 5 year anniversary of becoming a mother fast approaching, I’ve been doing a little reflection. There are so many things I thought I knew before I had kids, but being a mum has taught me a whole lot more than I expected. Spending time last weekend with women who don’t have children has also made me realise how differently I approach things these days.

Here are a few things I know now I’m a mum:

I know now that baby wipes are not just for wiping babies. I use them for everything! I’m not sure how I ever lived without them before.

 I know now oversized handbags do serve a purpose aside from making a fashion statement.

 I know now that a human being can survive purely on bananas and chicken nuggets for 6 months and still develop normally.

 I know now that bribing children is not only ethical, it is integral for the continued survival of our species.

I know now that a band-aid and a kiss can fix most things.

I know now that it’s possible for you to love someone so much you fear your heart may burst and want to throttle them at the same time.

 I know now what all those laundry detergent ads where on about.

I know now that wine really does have medicinal properties.

I know now that going to the toilet or having a shower by oneself  are absolute luxuries that should never be taken for granted.

I know now that the word “Mummy” can be the sweetest thing or the most irritating thing, depending on how many times you’ve heard it in the last 20 minutes.

I know now that Huggies have the most powerful marketing campaign. Ever.

I know now what unconditional love is.

I know now that being somebody’s mummy is indeed the hardest but most rewarding job in the whole world.

I know now where all those bloody clichés come from.

What do you know now that you are a mum?

Linking up with Shae from Yay for Home for Things I Know.

Hot date & a trip to Hogwarts

This morning I had a hot date with a very handsome young man.

After we dropped Bam Bam off at kindy, the Wilful One & I ran a few errands, had some sushi and then headed to our Prep interview.

Waiting outside the Principal’s office transported me back 25 years (eek!) in time. Why do school administration buildings carry such a shudder-worthy vibe, I wonder? All the folk wandering the halls seemed pleasant enough. I think it was the sound of the Deputy Principal scolding some children that made me sit on the edge of my seat.  It’s not that she was being shouty or cruel. In fact, it was the exact opposite. Her tone was a bit condescending, like she was talking to small children. Which of course she was. It just didn’t sit right with me as these children were obviously not preppies. They were young but not babies. Perhaps it’s just because I don’t speak to my kids like that.  Especially when they are in trouble!

In any case, it turned out to be the Deputy Principal with the sugary sweet scolding that we were scheduled to meet. Out she came all gushy and, well, sweet. How ironic it was that as we entered her office, she asked the Wilful One what his favourite colour was. “Pink” was his immediate (and predicted) response.  Taking a quick survey of the room, I immediately identified that my son and the lady with the sickly sweet voice had something in common.

On the desk there was a pink pencil-case, a pink pencil holder and an iPad in a pink case. On the wall there was a white board with a pink border and beneath that a sideboard with some pink ornaments. In the corner stood a tall glass vase with, you guessed it – pink flowers.

I quickly prompted the Wilful One to say his second favourite colour (purple) in a bid to reassure her I hadn’t primed him to charm her. Then I noticed what colour blouse she was wearing.  Purple.  She smiled sweetly and we progressed with the interview.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but there was something about this pink lady that struck me as familiar. It wasn’t until I mentioned to her that we were also on the waiting list of the new school in the area that it dawned on me.  When I watched her back straighten and her sweet smile tighten as a hint of an edge came to her voice, I suddenly realised who she reminded me of…

I know. I’m being a little mean and judgemental. Miss Deputy Pink was young and perky and you never know, by the end of next year we  may be the best of friends.  I just couldn’t ignore the resemblance…

Do you know someone who reminds you of a movie character?

I’m excited to be linking up with Jess @ Diary of a Stay at Home Mum for the very first time for IBOT. It will be shortlived but hopefully for the next few weeks while I’m on holidays I’ll be able to say:

 

 

 

 

 

Image from here

Artless Craft for Kids

Despite my mum being an Art Teacher, I do not have one single arty or crafty bone in my body. I really wish I was one of these wonderfully talented people who can take a couple of pieces of scrap fabric and whip them into a gorgeous cushion cover or a cute outfit for the kids.

Likewise, I would love to be able enjoy guiding the tiddly winks through interesting and creative age appropriate activities. Alas, crafty mama I am not.  I could give you a plethora of other excuses reasons why I struggle to do craft with the kids – it’s messy, it’s time-consuming, it’s difficult to accommodate the skills and interests of both a toddler and a preschooler… but, the bottom line is: I have control issues and very little patience.

Of course, this is small consolation to my boys who absolutely loooove doing craft activities. They do get healthy doses through daycare and days with their grandmothers (perhaps my threshold for craft will be higher with grandkids?)  but there are times when my mother guilt gets the best of me. So, I psych myself up, blow the dust of the craft box and take some Valium.

I’m hoping figuring I’m not alone in my crappy approach to craft, so I thought I’d share a list of things I manage to do with the kids when I’m feeling vaguely crafty.  I also suspect that this post may be required as evidence in the event my kids bring up their craft-deficient upbringing during therapy in later life.

1. Cat-bed-erpillars

Yes, you see correctly, that does say cat-bed-erpillars.  I figure since I’m being completely open and honest about my crap craft, I may as well confess that the inspiration for this particular activity was the result of our pillow destroying dog ripping a hole in the cat bed. Stuffing was all over the deck and while I was rather huffily picking it up, it occurred to me it was a waste to throw it out.  And so, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the cat-bed-erpillar was born. 

Note:  Before you assume I’m total unhygienic grub – the cat bed had never actually been used because damn cats never sleep on anything that is purchased specifically for that purpose.

What we used:  Pipe cleaners, stockings/knee highs, stuffing (I suppose non-cat bed would suffice), eyes, glue, marker pen

What we did: It’s definitely not rocket science – stuff the stocking and tie a knot in the end. Take the now rather phallic looking stocking and wrap the pipe cleaners around at spaced out intervals, leaving the “head” a little larger and tucking the knotted end of the stocking under the last pipe cleaner. Make sure the ends of the pipe cleaners are even so they can stick out for legs. Finish off the face by glueing or drawing on eyes & mouth. Voila!

The Verdict: This honestly took a total of 10 minutes including prep time, so it was perfect for my Bam Bam whose strong suite isn’t in the attention-span stakes. I was pretty chuffed with how much the boys loved these guys (I think I owe partial thanks to Eric Carle) and I had to convince them that sleeping with pipe cleaners was not a good idea!!

2.  Creature Collage  aka  Crocodile with Coins

This was another easy to prepare, spur of the moment job that I conjured up when trying to distract the Wilful One (from what exactly I can’t recall). 

What we used: Paper (white &  coloured), scissors, glue, crayons/pens/pencils & chocolate coin wrappers.

What we did: I simply started cutting the coloured paper into random shapes and then engaged in a bit of creative consultation with the Wilful One about what sort of animal the shapes would make. Together we came up with the crocodile so I handed over the glue stick and left him to it. 

The Verdict: This was such a simple thing to set up and I think he did an awesome job. I must admit I’m surprised he resisted the temptation to stick every singe piece of green paper onto his collage – a glimmer of understanding that sometimes less is more 🙂

3. Glitter & Sand Art

I’m sure this little gem is not new to craft-savvy mums and it has apparently been appearing recently on the shopping centre school holiday scene. Normally not something I would be open to due to it’s fiddly and messy nature, but my mother-in-law bought the boys a couple of packs and since it was initiated at her house, I had little say in the matter. Surprisingly, once we got started I was won over. It was the inner preschooler coming out in me, I’m sure.

What we used: A kit which includes different coloured glitter or sand, along with a picture that is made up of lots of pre-cut stickers which you peel off one at a time. You sprinkle your glitter/sand on the exposed adhesive before peeling off the next section.  If my explanation is confusing, check them out here  (non-sponsored link)

The Verdict: The Wilful One (& I) loved doing this.  So much so, that I allowed the unfinished one to come home to be completed at a later date. I think the structured nature of the activity appealed to our shared anal-retentive nature!  That, and we both like shiny things 😉   Bam Bam on the other hand sat there for 2 minutes, managed to rip the top off a glitter container and upend it all over the table then took off to paddle in the fish pond.  I’m thinking the 4+ age recommendation is spot on.

4. Recycling Robots (I really do like alliteration).

This is my ultimate crappy craft pass off. I have a box full of empty plastic containers, cardboard tubes and tissue boxes which I bring out when the boys want to get crafty and I’m not up for it. They love making robots and “machines” with all the bits and the beautiful part is that no glue (or parental input) is required!!!

So there you have it. A few of the crafty things this non-crafty mama concocts.

What about you? Are you a crafty mama or are you like me and subject your kids to artless craft?

Grateful for photographs, memories & shared experiences

163704_large

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m terrible with photographs – I take millions but apart from uploading them on the blog or FB, I rarely do anything with them.  I have them stored on the lappy, 2 hard drives, 3 USBs, the iPad, a couple of photoboxes and, of course, my iPhone.  I was grateful for  My Pigeon Pair’s post yesterday on the topic which made me feel less like an archival failure! Photo organisation is definitely on the holiday to-do list.

Despite my haphazard storage of them, I was ever so grateful for photos this week when the Wilful One started asking questions about his great-grandfather. My mum’s dad died when I was 8 months pregnant with him so they never got to meet.  Questions about Great Granddad Fred led to questions about death and what happens when we die and ultimately the Wilful One’s realisation that he will one day die too (OMG those words are hard to write!).  I have to admit I was slightly taken aback by how upset he was, as we have discussed death fairly openly with him up to this point, having lost a few furry and finned members of the menagerie over time. He knew that death also came to people but I don’t think he fully comprehended the gravity of the situation before now.  

I must highlight at this point that the conversation happened at a particularly bad time.  The eve of The Man’s first night away, after a late night home from daycare and with a hysterically over tired Bam Bam present.  Serendipitously, my BFF and I had only recently discussed her own daughter’s reaction to death and I gratefully drew on her experience to piece together an explanation for the Wilful One that gave him some measure of reassurance and got him off to sleep. He was comforted by the knowledge that even when someone is gone we still love them and hold them in our memories and hearts.  

The next morning we looked through the multitude of photos and found some pics of Great Granddad Fred and also the boy’s great grandparents on The Man’s side. The Wilful One yet again stunned me by his maturity and asked if the photos could be put in his room so “I can look at them and aways remember”. I am shamed by (yet grateful for) this request as it is a task I have been meaning to do since his birth – I even have the empty frame still hanging in the ex-nursery. Slackest. Mother. EVER.

And to my dear Granddad Fred, I miss you so much. You would be so proud of this boy and I promise through my memories and photographs they will both know who you are and will love you like I do.

 

 

 

 Linking up with Maxabella Love’s Grateful for… hosted by Lemon Rhodes.

Gorgeous family tree image via We Heart It