Wednesday, 29 June 2011

School Holiday Road Trip

As we all know school holidays are almost here and this time around I'm taking the kids on a road trip.  To be precise, a 10 hour road trip with 3 boys, one of which is only 15months old.

I know, I need my head read, again!  We're heading to the Gold Coast and whilst I know it would be much easier to fly, I had to weigh up the stress of dealing with airports, planes, taxis, luggage, and then not having a car once we arrived, and I opted for the road trip.

DH is staying home this time.  I think he's secretly planning to turn the house into a man-cave while we're away, which is fine with me as long as it's cleaned up before I get home.

As a child I remember driving from Wollongong, where we lived at the time, to Adelaide to visit our Grandparents.  There was mum, dad, my brother and I in some beat-up old Ford.  I often wonder how we ever made it.  There was one trip where we even had the dog and cat with us.......no comment there.

I look at all the things our kids have to keep them occupied now, ipods, DS's, PSP's, portable DVD players etc.  I can't believe my brother and I didn't die of boredom.  All we had was "eye spy" to play.  Which let me tell you, when you are driving across the Hay plain means you run out of things to "spy" pretty quickly.


I'm actually excited about tackling this trip on my own.  When we head interstate normally my husband is usually driving.  He is one of those people that just wants to get there.  The holiday doesn't start until we arrive.  Toilet stops are made begrudgingly (I'm sure he'd have us pee in a cup if he could), small towns are glimpsed only because the speed signs tell him he must slow down to 60k's, and Maccas stops are taken through the drive-thru, as long as there is no queue!  Last trip he didn't even stop for fuel, so of course we ran out and had to wait for the RAA.  Arghhhhhh!

For me, the trip starts as soon as we back down the drive-way.  The journey is all part of the fun!  I want to stop to look at little towns and have a wander.  I want my kids to understand there's a big wide world out there, outside of the capital city we live in.  I want them to understand that beef doesn't come from Woolworths, and that fruit doesn't grow in plastic tubs. 

The biggest challenge is going to be getting them to lift their heads up from their ipods and DS's long enough to actually look out the window.  I know I can't complain or whinge about it though.  It's a culture I've helped create by buying these things for them in the first place.  With any luck the batteries will go flat and they'll have no choice but to sing songs with me and play "eye-spy".

Wish me luck.

Amanda

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Kids Artwork

We just love all the masterpieces our kids bring home with them from school, kindergarten and pre-school.



The thing is, what do you do with them all?  I'm one of these mums that can't bear to throw anything out.







Suggestions?

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Winter Thoughts

Ok, I admit I'm not a big fan of winter, but I thought it was about time I tried to be a bit more positive about the whole thing seen as we still have a while to go before Spring pays us a visit.

I asked everyone what are some of their favourite things about winter.  Reading through some the comments it actually made me realise there are some things to like about winter.

Hot Chocolate - yum
Pumpkin Soup
Comfort Food like casseroles
Roast Dinners
Sticky Date Pudding

Hmm, does anyone see a pattern forming - I seem to be a little obsessed with food.........

Well, there are also log fires - done safety of course, and as one of our Facebook friends mentioned, staying indoors when there is a storm, and warm coats and boots - have to agree with that.

My mind seems to be drifting back to food again...........

What are your favourite things from winter?

Amanda

**Picture from www.taste.com.au**

Sunday, 19 June 2011

School Holiday Fun

School holidays often fill mums with dread.  I personally tend to fluctuate between joy and terror.
I think it's the idea of school holidays I love.  The idea of less frantic mornings really appeals to me.  Not having to make school lunches, sign notes, iron school uniforms etc.  Plus not having to fight the traffic.
Of course, then reality starts to set in.  Ok, I have to go to work, what will I do with the kids?  The grandparents all live interstate and there's a limit to how many times you can stretch a friendship.  I ha\ the luxury of being able to work from home occasionally, and then I end up negotiating with 3 boys whilst still trying to be productive. 
I'm still remaining positive by this stage though.  There are so many fun things I can do with the boys to keep them occupied.  We can go to the park, to a museum, to the library, do some craft activities, go to the shops.  Oh that's right, then reality sets in again.
The park.....anyone who knows me knows that I have a bad allergy to any form of exercise so a trip to the park ends up with me having to run around after 3 boys, kicking footballs, climbing trees, when I'd rather be sitting there quietly reading a book. So that sort of shatters that illusion.
The museum......My enthusiastic squeals of "boys, wow, look at this dinosaur, how exciting" are met with grunts of "mmmm, yep, I'm hungry, is it lunchtime yet?  Can we go to the shop and buy something?"  Ok, so another illusion shattered.
Library......So this starts with "can I borrow this, and this, and can I borrow this one too?", which then ends up in a debate as to why you can't borrow 35 books at once, and no I didn't set the rules regarding how many books you are allowed to borrow.  This of course is then followed up with, "I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, and can we buy something from the coffee shop?"  Right, so next illusion gone.
Craft Activities......Now this is fun!  The boys get so excited.  They pull everything out.  We get out their Usborne book of 4million things to make out of stuff, pick something, ok so this can take an hour, and then we are all ready to create.  Yes, a fun activity we can do together.  Only the novelty for them runs out after 10min and I look up to find them outside kicking the football around.  That's alright I tell myself, they're just taking a break.  Thing is, they still haven't returned from the break they took last school holidays when we last decided to tackle a craft project.
Okay, so let's get out of the house then and go to the shops.  We can have lunch, do some window shopping, maybe buy some books to read.....yep......another illusion shattered because it ends up with the boys running around, whining that one looked at the other one funny, one pushed the other one, then they're hungry, then thirsty and then the "can I have.......can I have........can I have" starts until I see a flash of the obvious and remember to myself why I would rather stick sharp pencils in my eyes than go shopping with my children.  Yes, there goes that illusion too.  There is a reason I shop online.
Ah, school holidays........joy or terror?


Would love to hear your thoughts.
Amanda

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Kids Being Kids

We planned a make-shift photo shoot on the weekend at a park and for once were blessed with beautiful weather.


It was great to see the kids running around and having fun.  Although the plan was for them to participate in the photo shoot, once they saw the steep grass hill and cardboard boxes.......well, you can imagine what that equated to - yep you guessed it, a toboggan run.


I repeated my mantra of "what I dont' know can't hurt me".  I found that much more successful than focussing on what doom could befall them while they hurtled down the hill.


I wish we could have more days like this, where our kids are free to just be kids.  It seems more and more like those days are fewer and further between.  We are always so busy, running here and there, to school, to sport, to activities etc.


We never seem to have enough time to just sit back and let our kids be kids.


Amanda


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Get Dressed!

Really, is it that hard?  The kids know it's the same deal every day.  They have to get up, have breakfast, get dressed and go to school.  Nothing much changes.

So why is it then that I end up screaming like some kind of crazy woman every morning.......GET DRESSED!!

Because instead of getting dressed, they are staring into space, they are fighting with each other, they are kicking the football around the house, they are playing games, they are sitting on the couch doing absolutely nothing, did I mention fighting with each other?

And the best thing about it is that they don't even have to go and look for their clothes to get dressed into - I've already given them to them, all ready to go.  Yet, they can't even seem to manage that.  Truly, I go into their rooms 15 minutes later and they are still standing there either in their PJ's or if I'm lucky, maybe they have their undies and socks on.  So again, it's GET DRESSED!!

I love it when my mother offers words of wisdom like, "well why do you let them get away with that, why don't you just make them go to school in their PJ's, I would".  See, the problem with that is that they would actually enjoy that.  They would think it's funny.  So I would still be screaming at them to GET DRESSED!

It's not like I'm asking them to hand over a kidney of anything.  I actually think it's quite a simple request really.  I just want them to get dressed, that's all.

Is it just me?  Do other mums go through this torture each morning?

Oh, and don't even get me started on breakfast..............

Monday, 6 June 2011

What Happened to Sleep-Ins?

The alarm went off at 7am on Sunday morning and I have to admit that for a few moments there I wondered whether kids sport really was that important.

As I staggered into the kitchen I tried to remember what our life used to be like before we had kids.  What did we do with all that time?  When we didn't have Auskick and AFL games to run the boys to, when we didn't have swimming lessons and mums n bubs classes, cricket games and birthday parties.........?  Maybe I slept more.  It's crazy, I honestly can't remember.

Then we bundle the kids, the baby and the dog into the car and run out the house with our coats, scarves and coffee to go, to sit on the sidelines and watch the fun and enjoyment our kids are having.

I even manage to forget all about sleep-ins..........until the alarm goes off again the next day.

Creative Mums

I wanted to introduce everyone to one of our amazing and talented Aussie mums who we are so excited to have on our site, Becky from Frankie Small.

Becky makes these fabulous unique recycled vests that are one-offs, made from woollen jumpers she finds.

We had a lot of fun when we visited her at some recent markets.

I get so inspired when I read stories like Becky's and see the beautiful things they create.  It makes me want to pull out my sewing machine and start sewing again.  Plus, that would give me another excuse as to why I don't have time to the ironing..............

Amanda




Welcome

Welcome to purely4kids, and welcome to my very first blog. 

We're so excited our new website, www.purely4kids.com.au and we really hope you will be excited too.

I look back on that Australia Day get-together earlier this year when we had an idea....."let's start an on-line children's store that focuses on Australian made/designed clothes for kids".

Well, after a few glasses of bubbles and lots of laughs, purely4kids was born.  Sure we had a few crazy names before we finally settled on purely4kids but that was all part of the fun.

It was something I think I felt passionate about because shopping is no longer fun for me - and trust me, I used to love shopping.  Does anyone else out there feel like they would rather stick a razor sharp pencil into their eyes than go shopping with their kids, or is it just me?  Or is it just me because I have 3 boys?  Either way, the thought of shopping online whenever I want to is far more appealing to me than shopping with my children, well at least with all 3 of them.

I'm also one of those people that tends to be a hermit during winter.  I really don't cope from May right through to October - so any excuse to stay in my PJ's and not have to go to the shops is also fine with me.

In all seriousness, I think the main thing we learnt from this whole process is that you really can do it.  We had an idea, and we ran with it.  Sure, we had a lot of hurdles, and it's been a lot of hard work getting off the ground, but it's all been worth it, and now we are up and running.  It's given us a real sense of achievement and something we are extremely proud of.

If you have an idea - just go for it.  You never know how far it could take you.