Sunday, 29 January 2012

Go Away - You're Annoying Me

As you know I have 3 monsters boys. For various reasons I have a 4 to 5 year age gap between each of them. With family all living interstate we knew we would find it hard having them close together without grandparents nearby for a some added help.


Don't get me wrong, I know heaps of families get by without family nearby, it was just something we were mindful of. We were also mindful of the bills and having two or three little ones in daycare at once when I went back to work.


It's actually worked out pretty well for us so far but just lately a few little issues have started. My eldest has just turned 11. He's going into his last year of primary school, he is staying at his best friend's house for sleepovers now, and his friend stays here too.


It's hard because, understandably, master 11yr old doesn't want his little brother hanging around all the time. It breaks my heart though because master 6yr old gets so upset and starts crying, he doesn't understand why his big brother doesn't want to play with him.


I constantly remind him that when Harry was 6 he didn't do this or that, or wasn't allowed this or that. Yet to a 6 year old that means nothing, it's just noise coming out of mum's mouth.


I try so hard to keep him occupied so he's not left on the "outer" and I know things will improve when school goes back and he's with his friends again, it's just hard seeing his little face crumple when he gets upset.

I also don't want to force Harry to include his brother in everything he does either because I don't want him to feel resentment towards him. It's such a tough line to draw.


Do you have an age gap between your kids or are they close together? How do you manage it?

Amanda

Friday, 20 January 2012

It's Back to School Time - Woo Hoo

I was inspired by the wonderful Gemma from My Big Nutshell to write a little blog about Back to School. 

I have 2 of my boys going back to school soon.  The eldest into Year 6 (which is last year of Primary here in NSW) and the other going into Year 1.  My youngest little munchkin is still at home.

We've been bombarded the last few weeks on all those back to school ideas, savings, hints and tips, so it kind of got me thinking.  I wanted to share with you some handy hints and tips of my own to help ease back into the school year grind joy.

1.  Enrol the kids in boarding school - you'll then only have to worry about them during school holidays - so what if I live in a capital city - I think my boys could benefit from knowing that there is a big wide world out there and not everything comes from Woolworths.



2. Book the kids into Before & After School Care- regardless of whether you are home or not.  Although before school care can be tricky as it means you'll have to get up even earlier and for those of us that struggle with a 9am start to the school day (or 8.55am at our school - seriously, what is with that?), the earlier start may be a challenge.  By enrolling them in After School Care it also enables you watch Bold and the Beautiful in peace. By the way, who thinks Steffi will end up back with Bill?



3. Teach your children to wash, iron, fold and put away their own clothes so they always have freshly laundered uniforms.  And when you've finished doing that could you ask them to pop around and teach me - no I'm serious, have you read my post about the sock bucket.

4. If you send your kids to school each day without lunch, don't worry, someone will feel sorry for them and feed them.......okay okay, no hate mail......I'm joking, honestly...... but then again.....lol.



5. For all those endless notes that come home that have to be signed and returned, simply organise a stamp of your signature, then the kids can simply stamp their notes themselves and take them back to school.  Of course there is always the risk that you may have just signed up for a year's worth of yo-yo lessons for them, but imagine how good they would be at it by the end of the year.



6. If like me you are becoming worried about the kids homework and whether you can actually help them out because things are taught so differently now, don't worry, they can find the answer to anything they need on Google.



7. Music lessons, dance lessons, sporting practice etc is a great time to catch up on your social media addictions, ie playing on facebook, twitter or catching up on your fave blogs.  Thanks to the world of iPods, iPads and iPhones it's so easy now.  If it's a bit awkward, take along some earplugs and use the time to catch up on some sleep instead.


8. Vodka, Lime & Soda whilst looking extremely pretty also solves any pesky back to school issue you may have.



9. That's it, couldn't think of anything else so you only get 8 tips, not 10.  Sorry.

Would love for you to share with us your Back to School tips.

Amanda


A few serious disclaimers - LOL
- oops if they're meant to be serious I shouldn't have just typed LOL. 
  • Anyhoo, I have nothing but positive feelings towards Before & After School - it's a fabulous system that I've used for many years when I'm working.... hello Miss Sue.
  • This post is not sponsored by Apple, although if you're reading this..........
  • If you have Foxtel you can simply IQ Bold and the Beautiful and then you can just watch it later when the kids are in bed - just don't read the cover of the Soap mags when you're at the checkout - such a spoiler.
  • I wouldn't recommend letting your 5 year old use an iron - well, that's what the DR at emergency told me, who knew?
  • I accept no responsibility if your child uses your signature stamp to forge cheques

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

It's Okay To Dream

It's Wednesday again which means it's time to Pin it to Pinterest - one of my absolute favourite "time-wasters" - LOL.  Really, how can scrolling thru page after page of pretty pictures be a waste of time.  The washing and ironing will still be there.....



Following on from my ramblings about whether to move or whether to renovate - or whether to simply sit back and wait for that winning lotto ticket to fall from the sky (hah, wouldn't that be nice), anyway, following on from those ramblings I've been playing on Pinterest looking at beautiful houses to dream about. 




 

I could always build a tree house.  The boys would love it.  How awesome would this be!!!


{Image Credit}

Oops - wrong House.



What do you think?  Could you see yourself living in one of these?  Now don't worry, I know home is where the heart is, and where the family is, and where my kids are, and my cat, and the dog BUT........it's still okay to dream and have a bit of fun with it.



What do you dream about?


Amanda





Sunday, 15 January 2012

But What If............

HELP.  I'm a stresser.  There, I said it.  That's me.  I stress about absolutely anything and everything - I drive my family batty.  The thing is though, I've never been any different so I know there's no hope of me changing anytime soon.

Do you ever wish there was a magical fairy that could just float in and tell you what to do.  Not someone that pushes their opinion on you because they think they know best, but someone who really does know what is best to do and tells you.



My family consists of DH, me and the 3 monsters boys.  We live in a shoebox house in Sydney which just happens to be the most expensive city to live in Australia - typical.  The 11yr old and the almost 7yr old share a room and bubba has his own room.

Don't get me wrong, I love our little house.  With lot's of emphasis on the word little though.  We only have one bathroom, there's no separate family room, just the one loungeroom, the smallest laundry you will ever find and a carport that we've kind of converted into a single garage except you can't actually fit a car in there.  One thing we do have though is a fabulous outdoor area.  Great pergola, a new undercover deck, grass for the boys to play cricket and a fair sized front yard too.  That's all great, but you can't live outside in the middle of winter.


My House - hee hee {image credit}

Why are you rambling on about your house you ask?  Well, this is where we need help.  I've now reached that stage in my head where I've decided a decision needs to be made.  Do we extend and renovate, or do we sell up and move?  That's where the problem starts.  I've made a decision to make a decision - I'm really good at doing that.  The problem is, I'm completely useless at the next step.  What that means is I go 'round and 'round in never-ending circles in my head; do we stay, do we go.......do we stay, do we go......in the end I have a list a mile long of "omg but what if this happens, or what if that happens".  What if, what if, what if!!!  Argh - I seriously drive myself crazy.


My New House???? Hah - I wish!!!! {image credit}


This is when I need that magical fairy to step in, waive her magic wand and say to me....."Do this".  All would be right with the world then and I could just move on with that decision and live happily ever after.

I tried to pre-empt my worries the other night.  I was so proud of myself.  We sat down and wrote a list.  Pro's of move, cons of move.  Pro's of renovating, cons of renovating.  Sounds good in theory right.  No, all that did was give me an even bigger list of things to worry about.  HELP.

Builders will tell you what works best for them, real estate agents will tell you what works best for them.  How am I ever supposed to know what will work best for US.

Any ideas?  Are you a total stress-head like me?  How do you deal with it?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Summer


Oh how I love Pinterest, and oh how I love Summer.  And how I love linking up with Piquing my Pinterest via Tina Gray dot Me.

Here are some beautiful photos I found on Pinterest that remind me of Summer that I wanted to share.


I admit I'm a bit late, but I've discovered the world of Maxi Dresses and i just love them. Especially good for hiding my lilly white legs.

 

Love this photo.  It's from And Me Too and is just beautiful.


I just adore lanterns & candles, especially in the warmer months, the glow they give always looks so pretty.

 

Nothing says summer like a Daisy.


Lovin this photo.  It's from the ever fabulous Possum & Banjo.



This is actually me just showing off.  Seriously loving my bargain new purchase from Witchery.  Gotta love a sale.


What photos remind you of Summer?

Monday, 9 January 2012

I Survived 90min With A Chipmunk

I did it - I saw the latest Alvin and the Chipmunks movie and I lived to tell the tale. And let me tell you, I do believe I deserve some kind of medal for it. Not that it was a bad movie, because it wasn't, it's just that I struggle with kids movies.



It's weird really because I never actually enjoyed cartoons much as a child myself, and now as an adult my love for kiddie movies hasn't really improved much. I'm more of a Pulp Fiction kinda girl, or anything that stars Daniel Craig, but the chipmunks, hmmm, not so much.

I told myself I was doing this for the boys, and the fact that they started whinging for food and arguing with each other the minute we arrived at the car park didn't make them ungrateful little so-and-so's.  After all, I'm inspired to link us with the ever fabulous Maxabella Loves and her 52 weeks of grateful.

I reminded myself that their remarks over the $2 popcorn & bottles of water from k-mart rather than the $200 dollar movie combos from the cinema did not mean they didn't appreciate that I was taking them to see singing chipmunks. (Obviously those of you that have been to a cinema candy bar recently will know that my flippant $200 movie combo comment is only a slight exaggeration. Seriously, does it really cost $12 to pop some popcorn?)



Am I really turning into one of those people I said I never would? You know who I mean.....the ones who when we were kids used to tell us when they were kids they had to walk 25km's along a dirt track without shoes just to get to school everyday!!!! OMG, I am. I just heard myself saying, "when I was a kid........". Arghhhhhh, how has this happened?



Please tell me it's true though. I'm sure when I was a child it was such a treat to go to the movies. My brother and I would get so excited. Now it honestly seems to be a given, an expectation. There's no excitement around it anymore.

At the end of the day though, I'm sure buried deep somewhere in the realms of a 6 year old and 11 year old's mind there was gratitude and they were thankful I took them.

For me, I'm sure I'll enjoy The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo a lot more, but as far as singing chipmunks go it was a pretty fun movie and I survived.



How do you feel about taking the kids to the movies these days? Do you think the excitements gone or am I just turning into an old fart?

Amanda

Images courtesy of
www.purely4kids.com.au
www.imdb.com
www.pinterest.com
www.google.com.au

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

How to Raise Children Effectively using a Goat

I found the funniest blog post this morning via Twitter regarding how to raise children a goat, and it got me thinking.  Ever faced with unwanted comments on how you should bring up your children - from people that don't have kids - or they have the perfect child that doesn't carry on the way yours does?

You know the one, they are full of advice on the child that doesn't sleep, the child that throws tantrums, the child that throws heavy objects at everyone, the child with atrocious table manners, the child that hits.......hang on a minute, I think I'm describing my 3rd child here, hmmmmm.

I'm sure I'm guilty of this myself.  My first child was the perfect angel baby.  Slept, ate, played, he basically did absolutely everything by the book.  No tantrum in site.  I'm sure I passed judgement on girlfriends who weren't lucky enough to have the angel baby....."if he won't eat what you cook then just leave him, he won't starve", "what do you mean your 18 month old is running around the house at 11pm?"  OMG I can hear myself now......LOL.  Am I allowed to use the excuse that I was young and naive back then?



And then along came number 3 (who as I type this is throwing matchbox cars at his brother) who was that bad I had to call the baby whisperer in to help me - wish I could tell you I was joking, but I'm not.  My 18 month old would throw his dinner at us rather than eat it, would still be running around the house at 11pm at night refusing to go to bed, hits his older brothers, throws anything within arms reach.....and on and on I could go.


There are a few reasons why my little monster was acting that way, but in short the baby whisperer basically told me to harden up and grow a pair - hee hee.  Might sound harsh, but it's true - he was walking all over me and I was letting him.

Anyway, back to the blog I read about a goat.  What on earth does a goat have to do with my ramblings about kids?  Well, basically her blog is all about someone offering advice on how to raise children.  This so called expert doesn't actually have children, but knows exactly how to raise children - her sister has 2 girls - thereby making her an expert.  Not that I'm advocating violence, but don't you just want to smack these type of people? 

So our blogging guru from Sleepless Nights responded by telling this particular know-it-all child rearing expert that maybe she should try adopting a baby goat to raise first as their behaviour can often be similar to that of a toddler (snicker).  Needless to say, there's been no response as yet (another snicker).  I've popped the link below so you too can have a giggle.

http://somedaywewillsleep.com/



Do you know someone like this?  Full of unsolicited advice because they know best?  Well, now thanks to the lovely Veronica there is now a solution - buy them a baby goat.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

A Family Diary

Ok, so as much as I'd love to say "wow, look at this great idea I've had", I can't.  I found this on Facebook through Mum's Lounge, but it's such an amazing idea I just had to share it.


It's courtesy of Jolene's Mumbo Jumbo and it all about keeping a diary/journal/keepsake for your family that you can then look back on at the end of the year.

http://www.mumslounge.com.au/community/mums-blog/how-you-can-join-me-in-the-family-diary-project-2012.html

The idea is to include photos, pictures, quotes, thoughts, art work the kids have done, anything at all really, that captures your family's year.

I took a drive out to Mona Vale on Sydney's northern beaches yesterday and visited this adorable little shop called Little Paper Lane.  I bought myself a journal and I'm all ready to go,



What do you think?  Will you join in too?

Amanda

Follow us on Twitter  http://twitter.com/#!/Purely4Kids
Join us on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/Purely4Kids