Monday, 31 October 2011

Pocket Money

You will notice from my previous rantings that I have THE laziest children to walk the earth. Everything is a drama, an issue, or a saga.


Requests to help with something are met with protests of "Oh what! I just sat down" or as you know, my personal favorite "I have to do everything around here, Dad does nothing". Hah, I still laugh at that one.


I've tried explaining to them that this is what families are all about, helping each other. I've tried reasoning with them that picking up after themselves means I don't have to nag them later in the day. I've tried ignoring the state of their bedroom but when things start growing in there I just have to step in.




I've reassured my eldest that he won't actually die if he misses an over of the 1987 one day match between Australia and Sri Lanka because I've told him to unload the dishwasher - which by the way is his one and only official job he has to do.


I've had so many bursts of enthusiasm where I've been so excited by my fabulous new idea. I've run up to Kikki K and bought Chore Lists and Star Charts. I've designed some myself and bought fun and funky stickers to put on them. All of which have lasted approximately 2.5 days before the novelty has worn off and they are back to simply lounging around the house imitating a dying swan when asked to pick up their PJ's off the floor.



We've had round table family discussions regarding what a wonderful thing pocket money is. How they can actually earn money by doing jobs around the house. How they can save up this money and put it in the bank for something really big they may want later. I've even suggested they can spend the whole lot on lollies and follow up dentist care for all I care - something has to resonate with these boys surely.




But no, the offer of money didn't work either for more than 1 week. After said week, Sunday rolled around - they didn't ask for their pocket money, which really irritated me as I had my whole speech planned out as to why they wouldn't be getting any money that week. Instead I had to make a point of announcing to everyone that "oh and by the way, I was going to give you your pocket money this week but because you didn't do your jobs without whinging, fighting and carrying on like pork chops (still don't actually know how a pork chop carries on, but anyway) you miss out." Well that worked. They both just looked at me blankly, muttered something like "oh what!" and then ran outside to play cricket. Arghhhhhhhh


So, now I've resorted to Plan B (or is it J by now). The reverse pocket money plan - where I can actually earn some money from them. Here is my latest brainchild that I'm super excited about this week, and I just know that unlike all my other attempts, this is the one. This is to going work. How can it not!


At the beginning of the week I give them each $10 in cold hard cash which they then have to put straight into their wallets. There are reminders of all the wonderful things they can save up for (apparently an Xbox is on the agenda) and then they are off. BUT ......the beauty of this little scheme is that if they don't do their jobs and help out around the house, or they fight with each other, or they refuse to keep their bedroom inhabitable then they have to pay me. Don't you love it!!!! I earnt $1.50 yesterday because one of them insisted on spending the entire 10min game of backyard cricket antagonising his brother while the other whinged, cried and generally acted like a 2 year old (he's 10) because he had to pick up 5 things off his bedroom floor. Ah the power!!

Ask me in another week how my little plan is going........I have big hopes for his one.

Do you give your kids pocket money?  Are they prepared to help out around the house?


Amanda


photos courtesy of www.pinterest.com  www.dreamtime.com  www.kikki-k.com

Sunday, 30 October 2011

My 16 Year Old Self

I don't normally buy magazines but I was drawn to this month's edition of the Women's Weekly as I'm a huge fan of Asher Keddie and Offspring, I just love it.



This month there is a really interesting article/interview with the author Di Morrissey.  She's written a letter to her 16 year old self.  It got my thinking.  Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing to be able to do.  To know what we know now and yet still be 16 again.  To be able to tell ourselves that everything is going to be okay - eventually.


I know if I could sit down and write my 16 year old self a letter it would be pretty confrontational.  I would want to tell myself that I am a much stronger person than I realise.  That I am a survivor.  I look back at what has happened in my life the last 18 months, and I know without a shadow of a doubt, at the age of 16, if you'd told me what was going to lie ahead for me I would have told you that you were crazy.  I would have thought I could never survive, but I have. 

I would tell myself I will have a wonderful husband, 3 beautiful boys, but I will lose my beloved brother to suicide when my youngest son is only 3 weeks old, I will lose my grandmother who I adored more than you can possibly imagine because she will never recover from the loss of her grandson, that it will feel like my whole world has ended.  But you know what, 18 months on, I'm here, and I'm standing and I'm surviving.  Actually, that's not true.  I'm not just surviving, I'm living. 



For those of you that read my blog you'll know I generally try and put humour in my writing.  I love to laugh at my life and my kids and have fun with all the crazy antics that go along with being mum to 3 boys.  But today, after reading that article, I felt I had to write this, and for that I hope you will forgive me for the more serious tone than normal. It's what was right for me today.  Tomorrow is another day and I'm sure it will come with lots of fun and laughter again.  Ooooh, and lollies and chocolate.  It is Halloween after all.



Pictures courtesy of http://www.magshop.com.au/Australian-Womens-Weekly, www.beyondblue.org.au, and www.pinterest.com

If you could sit down and write your 16 year old self a letter, what would you say?

Friday, 28 October 2011

Justin Beiber Has A Lot To Answer For

Now I know I shouldn't complain, it could be worse.  I could be dealing with posters of Justin Beiber plastered to the bedroom walls or wincing at his name being tattooed into an arm in Biro.  I'll leave that joy to all you mums out there with girls.

In our household we are dealing with what we term the "Beiber" flick.  I had to laugh when my parents visited from interstate recently and asked me if Harrison had developed a twitch.  No, no twitch, just a flick.  The Beiber flick.  It's basically an excuse for my son to grow his hair so long that I can almost put it in a ponytail while he continuously "flicks" it out of eyes "Beiber" style.

Now I suppose I should fess up and take some of the responsibility here.  I do like his hair a little longer, as opposed to the current "mop" look.  And I must admit, between work, the kid's school commitments, band commitments, sporting commitments, birthday parties and the fact that I have a 19 month old who will sit still for approx 3.5seconds, it's not always easy to actually find the time to take the boys to the hairdresser, but seriously, this is now out of control.

I actually wondered last week if maybe there was a colony of extinct animals living in there that had set up home thinking it was a safe haven.  I say safe haven because I'm sure the mop never gets washed.  Showers are clearly just for thinking when it comes to boys.  When they are simply standing under the water, arms folded staring aimlessly into space that's what I assume they are doing.  The number of times I've had to yell out to them to turn the shower off before they empty Warragamba Dam........argh, don't get me started - that's a whole other blog.

Anyway, I am now pleased to report that Beiber is now gone.  We went to the local barber and the "mop" has now been replaced with a No. 4 short back and sides with just enough growth on top to "spike it up mum" with gel.

Of course, this brings with it a whole other set of issues.  Mainly the fact that now he does actually have a twitch because he's so used to flicking that stupid fringe that it's become a habit - can you believe it?  Seriously, we're walking through the shops after said haircut and he's flicking an invisible fringe!!!!

But there are other new found issues now.  "Mum, how can I wear my school hat, it will flatten my hair", followed by "is my hair still spikey, is it?  It hasn't gone flat has it?"  Truly, can someone just shoot me now.....PLEASE!!!!
Let's not forget of course the incessant whinging that then follows from my 6 year old.  "Why can't I have hair cut too?  Why can he have spikey hair and I can't?  That's not fair!!!!"  After a number of deep breaths I then try and explain to my darling 6 year old boy that unlike his older brother he has very curly hair which means unless he wants to go with a buzz-cut look he can't have his hair spikey because lopped off stumpy little curls just won't stick up!!!!
Who said dealing with girl's hair was hard?

Please share with me your fun-filled kid's hair stories.  Please, I need a laugh.  I need to know that you too share my pain........PLEASE.


Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Our Fun Filled Photo Shoot

Not that you'd know if from looking out the window at the moment here in not-so-sunny-Sydney, but we had the most perfect weather this weekend.  We made full use of it on Sunday and roped all our children into helping out with a photo shoot for us.  Our beautiful friend Karen provided the amazing back-drop of her resort-style backyard and off we went.


I have to be honest, I thought the day would resemble something close to trying to herd cats but the kids surprised us with their willingness to help out.  Of course I think the promise of a swim afterwards helped that situation.



We've had some fabulous arrivals from Little Bubble and Tree and More4Boys that we couldn't wait to photograph.   The main issue from the day was the mop that sits on top of my eldest's head.  Seriously buddy - GET A HAIR CUT!!!!!  Argh, I swear half the socks missing from my house could be hiding in there for all I know.  I've got it all worked out today though.  School pick up will be met with the standard "I'm hungry, what can I have to eat".  This time I can reply with "Nothing until you get your hair cut".  Yes, it's off to the hairdresser today.


Now, back to the photo shoot.  The girls looked adorable in their flowing skirts and kaftans, just perfect for that next trip to the pool or beach.  Mind you, we were wondering if we were creating a monster with some of the poses, look out Jennifer Hawkins - you may have some competition soon.


All in all though it was a great day.  The weather was perfect, the kids were perfect, the clothes were perfect.  We really couldn't have asked for anything better.


Most importantly, it reminded us of what purely4kids is all about.  It's about family, it's about children, it's about doing what we love, and it's about all our fabulously wonderful Australian designers out there that we have the absolute fortune to support and promote.


Amanda

http://www.purely4kids.com.au/

PS - I got him to the hairdresser - lol.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

My Children Are Growing Up Too Fast

We were at a birthday party for one of my son's friends recently and it suddenly dawned on me.......there is only one more term left of kindy. My "little boy" will be going into Year 1 next year and there will be a whole new year if kindergarten kids starting. All of a sudden I felt really emotional. How could we be nearing the end of kindergarten - again? Where has this year gone - again? Is it just me, or are the days and weeks flying past these days at warp speed?




Of course then it also dawned on me that my eldest "baby" starts his last year of primary school next year and that is a whole other feeling of pain that I don't want to think about right now.




Maybe it's because I've hit the big 40 that I'm starting to consciously realise how quickly my children are growing up. I can remember sitting in my car and actually having tears at the thought of Harrison starting school, and now Cohen's first year is almost over and before I know it Nate will be starting.......arghhhhhh........please make it slow down.




Please tell me it's not just me that feels this way.



Amanda
http://www.purely4kids.com.au/

Photos courtesy of the wonderful www.pinterest.com

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Meet Michelle Poppitt and Her Beautiful Baby Shoes

One of the things we love the most at www.purely4kids.com.au is the amazingly talented mums we get to meet along the way.  Once such talented designer is Michelle Poppitt from Miss Poppitt.  Michelle makes the most adorable baby shoes you have ever seen and her attention to detail is second to none.  We thought it would be great if you could learn about Miss Poppitt too so we recently caught up for a chat.




We'd love a little insight into the world of Miss Poppitt.  Can you tell us a little bit about you and your family?

My husband Neil and I have been together for over 10 years and have a beautiful little girl called Lily Isabella.  Neil is the first person I want to show new creations to and is also seen out and about with me in Spotlight nodding and shaking his head to all sorts of fabrics that I find.  He always give words of encouragement and criticism which helps when you're trying to perfect a new style.  I wouldn't have been able to do any of this without him. xx.

Where does the name Miss Poppitt come from?

Miss Poppitt is named after Lily.  I wanted to create things for her to wear and she has been a great help in sampling shoes and posing for shoes.

What made you start Miss Poppitt?

It's been a while since I worked in the fashion industry and I was keen to start something.  After going to the Mathilda's Market in Canberra I was inspired by all the beautiful things.  I noticed that no one made shoes and being a major shoe fan (I have quite a largish collection of Havaiana thongs) I was so excited when I was able to buy patterns.  After tweaking the pattern I bought,  I started making them from scraps of fabric I had at home.  There have been triumphs and minor tragedies but I'm really pleased with the progress I've made in only 10 months.

What is the most rewarding thing for you about Miss Poppitt?

The lovely feedback from customers makes it all worthwhile  I'm also so amazed at my Facebook fans.  It's so nice when you launch a new design and you love it BUT.....and then a fan will "like" or make a nice comment on a picture - it's such a great feeling.

Your shoes are absolutely adorable?  Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration mainly comes from fabric I find - I've bought quite a few Kawaii style fabrics recently.  Also flowers in the garden will inspire a colour choice and style name will pop into my head then I want to search for something that represents the name.

What's next for Miss Poppitt?

I've just started expanding my shoe size range from toddler to child slippers.  I'm going to be starting ladies slippers at the end of October.  I will also be making little dolls that will co-ordinate with my shoe range.  So keep a look out for those in November.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

At this stage I would love to go anywhere for a holiday - just Neil, Lilybell and I. I am looking forward to summer so we can make trips to the coast.




Be sure to check out the beautiful shoes by Miss Poppitt at http://www.purely4kids.com.au/ when you get a chance - you won't be disappointed.  My little Nate loves his pair.

Amanda