Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Housekeeping...

This time last year I was busily making plans for the new year, writing wrap-ups of the best movies in 2010, the movers and shakers, there was even a mention of phoenix of the year (which I awarded to Kevin Rudd but someone picked up could easily have been given to Geoff Huegill).

This year there will be no 'best of's, not even a post about lessons learnt. Unfortunately, I just do not have the time to think these things through. So instead my final post for 2011 will be a list.

THE LIST
  • I keep failing to follow through on things. For example, the garage sale we had last month went pretty well. I sold 71 items and shipped the rest of the stuff off to the charity store. Made a few bucks and decluttered too. Win:win. All the preparation paid off. So sorry Mel that I failed to write a follow-up post. I hope you have forgiven me?
  • I am better at entertaining than I thought. Doo Dah had the best Scooby Doo birthday party at the weekend. I was proud of myself for pulling off a eviable party on a budget. Doo Dah has been insisting on wearing Shaggy 'whiskers' every day since. So easy and so cute (Dew Drop copies and is edible). We backed up on the same day with a Christmas gathering. Exhausting.
  • Kids grow up before your eyes. Doo Dah attended his final days at daycare as he transitions to big school. He is starting to read some words, puts together some spectacular constructions from blocks, colours between the lines and spends most of his time driving his siblings mad. God I am going to miss him next year.
  • Blink and you miss it. Nugget has successfully traversed another school year. The end of year celebrations included Musical Heights (where he surprised me no end with the improvement in his dancing abilities and how incredibly gorgeous he looks in blue eyeshadow). He survived the composite class that I so dreaded, losing teeth, renegotiating friendships and while there have been some very tricky parenting moments, be has grown up so much.
  • Love comes in many forms. Nugget and I developed a love affair with Harry Potter this year. His will go on hold for awhile but I will savour mine into the New Year. I bought myself the forth book for Christmas. Sneaky.
  • Time moves on. We do not own a cot, a high chair or a change table anymore. End of an era thanks to the Minx and Dew Drop moving into beds, sitting at the table for meals and getting themselves toilet trained! A big year for them.
  • Something needs to be done about the housing situation for this family. The Geege and I debated whether to move or renovate for much of the year. At this point we have swung back to "move", so we shall tackle that in 2012. Anyone know a good suburb on the Central Coast?
  • We still don't have chickens (or a usable compost). The chooks I have been talking about all year? They now have a coop and will be brought into our home in January. After our trip to Fibrotown for Christmas and up north camping with friends over New Year. The kids cannot wait. The naming game has begun. And I thought naming twins was hard?
  • There has to be a way of keeping track of all the books I read. I need to remember to write my book list from 2011 in 2012. I read some fabulous books that you should definitely check out. And Karen, you friend Torre is a lovely writer! I am completely enjoying Swept. Thank you so much for slipping me a copy.
  • I have enjoyed all the challenges I have set myself this year. I still have to reconcile my 52in52 list, which I will do in early January. There is a bit of time left to finalise a few things...
  • Christmas killed the BNN challenge. While I have been incredibly dedicated to the Buy Nothing New cause this year, the Christmas frenzy has got the better of me. I am disappointed with myself but unfortunately I have run out of time to make all the things I had planned. Don't worry. I have whipped myself (which I kind of enjoyed) and promise to be back on the wagon. Piss poor effort.
  • I will be having a giveaway! I will be tackling a new weightloss challenge (90 days) with the Food Patrol. The best bit is that one of you will be able to join me because they have agreed to sponsor an And then there were four reader too. More information to come, but if your New Years Resolution is 'get healthy', you need to tune in in January for the opportunity you have been looking for.
The next Weekend Rewind will be January 6th, 2012 hosted by EmmaK over at Mummy's Got a Headache. She is both fun and funny and I would love you to support her as hostess by linking up an old post for some new comment love.

Thanks a million for reading my blog this year. Thanks for all your comments and emails and Facebook interactions. Please come again next year when I return xx

Friday, 16 December 2011

Weekend Rewind - Rocktober edition

I have been so busy cutting out Scooby Doo masks for Doo Dah's birthday party tomorrow, that I forgot to sort out the Rewind for this week. So, there will be very little introduction as I get down to the business of opening up for business!

This week we will relive the magic of October. Please find a rocking post from your October archives and link it up here for some new comment love. The rules are the same as always - link up, comment to your heart's content, and use the power of social networking to spread the love to others. Simple? I think so. You need to be a part if the And then there were four gang to play along, so join me if we aren't already acquainted.

So, here is mine: Under the weather

Now show us yours...

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Three turtle doves

We are up to the 3rd day of Christmas aren't we? Three turtle doves? The closest I have come to a turtle dove is lugging Tommy the turtle potty everywhere I go. I have become 'the lady with the red potty'. Thanks Dew Drop and your refusal to wee anywhere other than the turtle.

I am a self-confessed Bah Humbug. Usually I spend all of Christmas bagging out Sister B for all of her festivenss, meanwhile putting off my Christmas shopping and refusing to 'catch up for Christmas' with people.
But things seemed to change for me last year, and I am now embracing Christmas with enthusiasm. Except the 'turtle' doves.

The home-made sock-style Advent calendar has been the centre-piece for Christmas cheer. I wrote little activities for each day and tucked them in the socks. We have been busily singing carols, visiting the Christmas lights, baking Christmas treats and making Christmas crafts.

Today's activity was writing Christmas cards and we used one of our Christmas crafts as the starting point.

The kids have been loving it. Each day they get out of bed bursting to open the sock. They have to wait for everyone to be up and Nugget proudly reads out the task. It sure beats dosing them with chocolate every morning and I have to say that this Christmas celebration thing has been lots of fun.

Tomorrow we have a knock-knock joke.

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Hanna.
Hanna who?
Hanna partridge in a pear tree!

I crack myself up. Have you got any good knock knock jokes? How is Christmas rolling for you this year?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

I am bloody cold


This is what I *should* be wearing today. Image from here.  
 I am bloody cold. There. I have admited it.

I can't get used to this weather. It is December and it is cold. What is with that?

I have been cold every day for the past two weeks because I refuse to wear a proper jumper. It is Summer. You don't wear coats, scarves and beanies in Summer. It is just not right. A light cotton cardie in the evening, maybe, but not Winter clothes.

The morning sunshine really fooled me this morning and I have to admit that I am freezing. I had to wear the 'team cardigan' out of the office at lunch today because my outfit of choice was not warm enough. My colleagues asked my why I was wearing short sleeves on such a cold day. "It is Summer". I said. Okay then...

The kids are struggling too under my unhelpful attitude. As Winter dripped into Spring, I did the usual cull of their wardrobes, packed up their Winter woolies and pulled out their next size range. It isn't working out well for them. The Winter size threes are too long for the twins for example and the Summer outfits are too cold. We are all inappropriately dressed.

The Geege had the hide to put the heater on the other night. It *was* about 12 degrees, but you can't use a heater in December can you? I switched it off suggesting he get a blanket instead. It just went against my grain, although I had to admit that I was bloody cold once I had.

I don't know why I am in denial exactly, but I feel like if I give in and accept this extended Winter, then Summer won't come. So, I am holding tough. This weather will turn around and offer up a bit of sunshine at some stage. It *has* to. After all, it *is* Summer.

How are you handling the cold Summer weather if you are experiencing it? And if you aren't, boast about your sunny climate and remind me what a real Summer in Australia is like.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Doo Dah's first graduation ceremony

We received an invite to Doo Dah's graduation a couple of weeks ago. I cringed a bit at the thought. I mean, why the fuss? Don't you just get to leave because you are old enough? There aren't any competencies you have to meet. No performance-based benchmarks. You are just five, so you get to move on.

I warmed to the idea because Doo Dah was excited about it, so when the big day rolled around last Thursday, we all traipsed along. I made and effort getting the kids to look presentable; Doo Dah looked handsome in his 'business' shirt. But I felt a bit bad when the room was filled with parents accompanied by grandparents. I didn't even *think* to ask the grandparents.

There was a couple of skits and a couple of songs, all performed by the graduating class with cute little props and double entendres. Doo Dah got to introduce one of the songs and he was so proud of himself that my cheeks hurt from smiling at him.

Doo Dah beamed. He sang louder than anyone else. He laughed at all the jokes during the skits and his eyes twinkled every time our eyes met.

I watched as all the parents viewed the entire thing through their iPhones (videoing it for posterity -why do people do that instead of enjoying it in the 'now'?), while my eyes remained fixed on my prize. My son. Strutting his stuff. Taking the leap from preschool to school. The end of an era.

I hope it is the first of many graduation ceremonies for Doo Dah as he navigates the education system. I hope he is always are happy with himself as he is right now. Everyone deserves to love themselves without apology the way a child does. I wasn't expecting to learn that at the graduation ceremony.

Does your preschool have a 'graduation' ceremony? Are you as cynical as I was about it?

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The story of the Mini-figure

So Nugget has saved enough money to buy himself a Lego mini-figure*.

The Geege was asked to buy it for him yesterday, but came home with the wrong thing.

I promised we would get to the shops so he could buy one before we went to our Christmas picnic today. We were running a bit late, as is customary, but he insisted. So I told him to pick a shop to visit, one only and we would give it a quick try.

So we visited the selected store. Not a mini-figure to be seen. Nugget's face was one of despair, so despite being late and having said "Just one store", we all trudged to another store. On the other side of the shopping centre. And guess what? Not a mini-figure to be seen.

Nugget's face told the story. His eyes pleaded.

"One more" I conceded, and we made our way to another department store. All the way to the back. Three mini figures left. Nugget selected one. I had to bite my tongue I was so surprised to find myself in the situation I was in. One bloody hour to find a mini-figure. What was wrong with me???

He paid his $5 and off we went to the picnic.

We arrived at 11.07. At approximately 11.10, Doo Dah came to tell me that Nugget had buried his mini-figure in the sand and couldn't find it! Ahhhh! I seethed on the inside - that thing was coming home no matter what!

I helped him search the giant sandpit and we rescued it, but then it was lost again when it played 'goalie' during the soccer match. Nugget found it. Its arms were dislodged, but they were replaced and in the end, it made it safely home.

There was more energy and effort that went into that mini-figure than is truly normal.

You can imagine my face as I strolled into the local corner store and found this!


When have you gone above and beyond for your children?

* We figure if the kids are buying their own stuff it isn't breaking Buy Nothing New policy?

Friday, 9 December 2011

Weekend Rewind: A little burst of Spring

A big thank you to Lucy for being such a stellar hostess last weekend. I appreciate your fine stewardship and may call upon you again, should my weekend be as busy as last weekend was. Does anyone else want a go at hosting? Let me know if you do... Anyhoo...

We are springing into spring with this edition. I'd like you to link a favourite post from your September archives. It can be this year, last year or whenever.

The rules for the world's easiest linky remain the same each week. Link up a relevant post, show the other linkers some comment love, and tweet/facebook/stumble the heck out of the meme. You also need to become my friend if we are not already acquainted. There is an official Weekend Rewind button up there at the top of this post that you can pop on your post/blog should you wish to.

Now, I will get us started this week with this little beauty from September...The Bridesmaid Effect.

Now show us yours...

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Learning to share

Image from here
It is a big time of year for new things coming into our house. We have three kids' birthdays as well as Christmas, so it is 'game on' for our massive influx (although not so much this year).

Our household rule when it comes to getting presents is that you get to play with it all by yourself for the first day, and then it has to be shared with your siblings (if they are interested).

The only thing in the house that is exclusively yours is your bed. Everything else has to be shared. As you can imagine, we are not the kind of family who has a 'seat' at the table, on the lounge or anywhere else which is yours alone to populate. We have a shared plate of snacks for morning and afternoon tea, rather than our own serves. We have hand-me-downs, shared toys, shared TV programming. You get what you get and you don't get upset.

I never know whether I am on the right track or not, but my reason for this is that I want my kids to learn to share and I don't want them to get attached to material things. Stuff is stuff. What is important in life isn't where you sit at the table, but who you sit there with. Life is about making space for others and sharing your time, experience, thoughts and games with them.

It is a hard lesson for anyone, but I am proud of how my kids are coming along with this.

How do you manage sharing at your place?

PS: Speaking of sharing... it is the final day for voting in the Circle of Moms competition. Please share the love and vote for me. It is just a quick click and you can do it even if you have before because it is a once a day thing. Thanks!! xx

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The toothfairy diaries: Second tour of duty

Image from here
After unveiling such a fabulous plan for her first tour of duty and executing it superbly, our household toothfairy got a bit haphazard for her second tour.

Less than a week after losing his first tooth, Nugget's second tooth kamakazed from his gum on Saturday morning.

He flopped it on the table and said "Another one. I guess I'll get another couple of bucks hey?"

I had decided, after all the tip-toeing caused by the original 'under the pillow' plan, that I would try a new tactic. One that my own parents used with our teeth when we were young.

I encouraged him to pop his tooth under a glass and leave it in the middle of the table. And so he did.

All day I saw that tooth there and thought, I must remember to slip $2 under the glass and dispose of the tooth when he goes to bed. Only I forgot. And so did the Geege.

The next morning, Nugget exclaimed that the toothfairy had forgotten to come. Oh God! I thought. The Geege and I immediately spoke over the top of each other trying to explain that she has a lot to do and sometimes she takes a few days to come.

"Santa does it all in one night. For every kid" he said.

The Geege and I spoke over the top of each other coming up with excuses for the toothfairy. She is so small. Santa has helpers.

We had a cooked breakfast together and after cleaning up the table, I realised that the tooth was missing! Eek!

Nugget noticed. He said "My tooth has gone! Where is it Mum?"

"Maybe she has come?" I said. Loudly. Hoping the Geege was hearing me and working with me. "Right under our noses. She must have left some money for you somewhere. You had better start looking".

By the time he had gotten to his room to look under his pillow, the Geege had performed miracles!

Nugget and his entourage of brothers and sister came sprinting down the hall to tell me that the toothfairy had left money under the pillow. They discussed how amazing it was that she had come while we were all there and noone had seen her.

Smooth move Geege. Smooth.

Phew!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Sexy sailors

Image from here. Actual boat!
The Geege and I had the most decadent night on Saturday night.

A friend of ours turned 40 and through a series of connections we ended up being invited out on the most amazing boat for a night on Sydney harbour.

The glorious summer weather on Saturday created a beautiful canvas for the sparkling harbour. It was dazzling as we motored around on our party boat, exploring pockets of the intricate shore line. The spectacular sunset did not disappoint either.

The natural beauty of our landscape contrasted somewhat with the debauchery on board.

There was endless Moet served by a heavy-handed and overly attentive waitress; canapes that melted in your mouth; pole dancing demonstrations (with optional lessons) from a woman with an enviable body and guests dressed in sexy sailor attire (mine, acquired via eBay, was so slim-fitting that I had popped some of the press-studs off it by the end of the night! Talk about wardrobe malfunction!! Fortunately they were not 'crucial' buttons).

There was music and dancing and chatter and laughter and moments soaking in the atmosphere. Sigh.

It was a night to remember and one we will be hard-pressed to forget. Always nice to learn how the other half live.

Have you ever had a 'celebrity' moment? Tell us about it.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Weekend Rewind: The Diminishing Lucy edition

The adorable and generous Lucy from Diminishing Lucy is your hostess with the mostess for the Weekend Rewind this week. If you haven't met her before, be prepared to fall in love. She is awesome and so very inspiring. I will be out and about with all manner of stories to tell upon my return. Show Lucy and the other linkers some love won't you? We all know how special we feel when we receive comments. Off you go... xx

PS: Voting is still on for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Aussie Mum Blogs. I would appreciate your vote. It is just a quick click. Thanks in advance :-)

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Let's play {A-Z}

Image from here
A. Age: 38
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore that you hate: Folding the piles of washing!
D. Dogs: Our last was Ruby. We found her a new family when the twins came along. After years of having her ears pulled, being poked by two little boys and being forced to sleep outside, she is now adored and happy and living on a farm. It is better this way.
E. Essential start to your day: Alarm clock (often in human form with Dew Drop the most likely candidate)
F. Favorite color: Green
G. Gold or Silver: White gold.
H. Height: 172cm
I. Instruments you play: I learnt the trumpet at school, and the cello. I sucked at both. I often joke that I am the ultimate nerd because I can read music but not play it.
J. Job title: Mum, Education Consultant, Speech Pathologist
K. Kids: 3 sons, 1 daughter
L. Live: Outskirts of Sydney, in the bush
M. Mother’s name: Bev
N. Nicknames: Coo
O. Overnight hospital stays: Three times when having children
P. Pet peeves: I am not sure there is enough room here... um, my biggest one is when the TV is on as well as the radio/iPod and the Geege is playing the guitar and one of the kids is playing computer games with all manner of noises all at the same time, in the same room. Mind boggling!
Q. Quote from a movie:  "I wish I knew how to quit you" from Brokeback Mountain.
R. Right or left handed: Right.
S. Siblings: Two sisters, one brother
T. Time you wake up: Usually 6.00am (or earlier. See E)
U. Underwear: Bridget Jones style
V. Vegetable you hate: Brussel sprouts
W. What makes you run late: Have you tried clicking four children into carseats?
X. X-Rays you’ve had: I have had several dental x-rays (when I had braces and when the dentist stole my teeth during the twin pregnancy). I have also had a chest x-Ray when I returned to work, in line with their latest health policy. Does a CT scan count here?
Y. Yummy food that you make: I make a mean nachos
Z. Zoo animal: Giraffe. Hands down. Necks up.

I found this little game over at Faith Hope and a whole lotta Love. Play along too. Leave a note if you do so I can come and read your responses.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Taking your sweet time

Image from here
I notice that other people around me are better at taking their time.

Maybe it is stopping long enough to remove your soccer boots and socks and donning thongs before you drive home to the family. So that you are comfortable and your feet can breathe. Even if your team mates are ready and waiting.

Maybe it is unloading your entire trolley of groceries, one item at a time, lining them up in categories so that your 'unpack at home' is easy, all the while, others wait in the queue behind you.

Maybe it is taking out your ticket at the railway gate when it is your turn to use the turnstile, rather than fumbling in your bag as you climb the stairs, crushed by the hoards; Ignoring the commuters panting down your neck, chomping at the bit to be released from the railway station and into the real world.

I call it 'taking your sweet time'.

I still don't know if it is sensible or selfish.

I notice it. Sometimes it annoys me. Other times, I find it admirable.

What do you think?

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

52in52: Update

Image from here
I have been somewhat remiss in updating my 52in52 list the last couple of months, although I have been working away at some of the tasks. There are a number that I *know* will not be achieved (like a hot-air ballooning flight, hmmmm...) but I figure you have got to put these things out there in order to have a chance of making them happen.

I have managed to achieve (or have been working towards) a number of the items on the list (there is a page if you want to take a look).

Before the garage sale, I cleaned out every cupboard in the house, including the toy cupboard (you wouldn't know now!). All the baby toys were offloaded via the garage sale or a donation to charity. No more baby toys. Note to friends: BYO!

I am busily making our advent calendar. It was inspired by this and this. I need to acquire some little pegs (everything else I already have) but am not sure if this is breaking the Buy Nothing New rules.

I am finalising reading my 24th book for the year (I know I am kind of surprised too). So my "Read two books a month challenge" has been completed a bit early. They have been a mixture of fiction and non-fiction. I will publish the list at some point (get ready with your recommendations for me for 2012. I love a book recommendation!). I have managed to knock over a few more of the BBC Top 100 list which I am pretty happy about.

The Geege and I have had a few dates throughout the year (although I am yet to get him on the dancefloor). I will have to check the calendar to see if we have managed 12 throughout the year... it is hard to get enough babysitting credits! This is what the Geege is getting for Christmas so next year will be much more organised on this front.

I sent my package to a friend three weeks ago. She had her second bub and I managed to get off my butt and forward along some clothes and gifts from my 'gift box'. It is always so nice to recieve something in the mail that isn't a bill don't you think? I will definitely try to do more corresponding, out school style, in 2012. And I am trying to set up a pen pal for Nugget. Anyone want to volunteer their child???

I have made good headway into finalising the baby books (my biggest baby is nearly seven so you would hope so right?) I am awaiting some photos from Dad (my fault because I keep forgetting to get them from him when we see each other) from the twins' first birthday and Christmas (same day, poor things). He was chief photographer on the day because we were 'between' cameras. Once they are in place, I can cross that little task off.

So you see, although I have been quiet about it, things are humming along. Oxfam is set to receive a big donation from me, but I am pretty happy with how things have gone. And there is always December. Right?

How are your New Year's resolutions coming along? Nearly time to start again...

Monday, 28 November 2011

Making new friends

Image from here
When Nugget first started school last year, he made a friend. It all began over a mutual love of Lego and all things Thomas the Tank, and apart from a small incident over a museli bar, they have been BFFs ever since. His friend was dominant and in charge, but Nugget was his right-hand man. They both seemed happy with the arrangement and travelled together, among a larger group of boys.

That is until a couple of weeks ago when Nugget announced they had 'broken up'. The reason for said break up was that the BFF didn't make Nugget 'feel good inside my body'.

I was worried about it at first, but Nugget hasn't been.

Since parting ways, Nugget has a new gang. They seem like nice boys, more mischievious than his previous group, but we have already established Nugget's attraction to trouble makers.

There have been reports of detentions and getting into trouble in the classroom. His teacher and I had a few words about his 'behaviour'. I think he is just growing up and testing boundaries. He certainly is at home.

The saddest thing for me about all of this is that I really like the BFF's Mum. She and I have a regular Friday afternoon date at the local shops for an ice-block. We natter about life, kids, jobs and getting some balance. She is wise and funny and laid back and real.

Last Friday as we continued our tradition and Nugget and the BFF sized each other up and then found some fun together, we joked about whether or not we can still be friends if our kids aren't. Who calls the shots in these friendships anyway? We giggled about secret child-free rendez-vous and established we will have to ajourn to the pub for our chats, instead of the school yard. It will only enhance our friendship!

So now that Nugget is moving on, I guess I will be making new school friends too.

What has your experience been with making friends with your children's friends' parents? Good? Bad? Ugly?

Friday, 25 November 2011

Weekend Rewind: July 2011 Edition

We have been working our way through the months these past few weeks of the Weekend Rewind. It has been great tripping down memory lane, capturing each month of the year with one post.

This Edition brings us up to July. What were you doing in July? Perhaps, like me, you were suffering sleep deprivation from a combination of your Tour de France addiction, children who won't sleep and a sleep study with one of your kids at the Kid's Hospital? No? Not that lucky?

Why don't you link up your favourite post from July and spill the beans on your activity?

This rules of the meme remain the same each week. Join the And then there were four community, if we aren't already acquainted, and link up a post from your archives. Share the love by commenting on other posts in the link up, by stumbling posts you like and Facebooking or Tweeting about the link-up. The more of each of these things, the merrier!

I will get us started, as always, with a little question about social etiquette...

And now it is over to you...

PS: Please take a moment to vote for And then there were four in the Circle of Mom's Top 25 Aussie Blogger competition. It only takes a click! You can vote once a day if you are so inclined :-)

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

First tooth fairy gig

Image from here
I walked through the door after work tonight to squeals of delight.

"Mum's home!"

"Race you!"

"Nugget lost his first tooth!"

The kids practically crash tackled me in the excitement and Dew Drop, Doo Dah and the Minx talked over the top of each other, finishing each other's sentences, trying to be the one with 'the news'.

Nugget, on the other hand, sat alone at the dinner table. Finishing his meal, as casual as can be.

After greeting and hugging the three children within my arms' reach, I made my way to the table to inspect the gappy smile of Nugget. He did not say a word, but opened his mouth and pointed to 'the spot'. His eyes smiled with the pride I knew he was feeling. A big moment. His Dad, looked on, also silent with a grin from ear to ear.

The Minx filled me in on the details (you can always trust the 'Boss' to know what is going on).

Apparently the big event occurred at school, during library class.

Apparently, the librarian rushed to place the tiny tooth into a tissue for safe keeping.

The tooth-filled tissue was placed on the top of the TV cabinet when Nugget arrived home after everybody had a look. Everyone had discussed how small it was and how big Nugget's new teeth will be.

Nugget and his Dad nodded and smiled.

Some time passed after the bombshell had been dropped. I made a few more inspections of Nugget's mouth (at the request of his over-excited siblings). Nugget remained as cool as a cucumber. Bloody six year old boys. They give you nothing!

When the others were racing to be the first in the bath, Nugget stayed back in the lounge room. He started with the questions.

"Will the tooth fairy come tonight, Mum?". I thought of my sister's blog post on the tardy toothfairy. "Uh-huh" I said (thinking how could I be late for my first ever tooth fairy gig?).

"How much money will she exchange for my tooth?" (Hmmmm...) I don't know. I say. "What is the going rate?" I ask. "$2" says Nugget. "All my friend's get $2 for a tooth. Do you think I will too?" (Hmmm...A quick calculation. $2 per tooth, 22 teeth, 4 mouths, that will be a pretty pricey exercise...) "I think you will definitely get $2 for your first tooth" I say (Note to self: check with sisters and friends what the going rate is).

"Where will I leave my tooth so she will find it?" (Hmmmm... I remember dreamily about a blog post I read in recent memory where the Mum had this gorgeous little box for the tooth fairy. I quickly think of an alternative and a cute little bag with a zip that I have in the cupboard springs to mind. I proceed to get it out and slip the tooth in) "Pop this under your pillow and look again in the morning" I say.

And so the family tradition is born. A quick scramble to pull the pieces together this time, but next time we will know the drill. Another dimension to the magic to childhood enters our home.

So tell me, what is the going rate for the tooth fairy at your place? Do you use one of those gorgeous little tooth fairy accessories like the one made by Boutique Accessory 72 above?

PS: Please take a little moment to vote for me in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Aussie Mum Blogs competition. No sign up required, just a quick click. You can do it once a day until the 8th Dec :-) Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Victory!

Image from here
We had the most hysterical soccer match tonight.

We turned up in the pouring rain to play the only team in the competition who are lower on the ladder than we are*. The pitch was completely churned up. It was like a mud wrestling match by the end.

They had three players. We had five.

One of their players had a broken arm. Another was without her contact lenses. It seemed that only one was fully fit and healthy. We all had a big belly laugh together when the woman with the broken arm told us that some team members were absent because they had colds. Lightweights!

There was a sense of hope among our usually broken team. We had a chance.

We all giggled about how embarrassing it would be if we lost. Imagine! I had a sense of dread and tried to talk the girls out of playing. IMAGINE if we lost. It was well within our repertoire.

We went out onto the pitch and from the outset we were stunned. There may have only been three of them, but they were everywhere! The one with the broken arm was like a terrier. They were far more skilled than we were and for a while there I was actually concerned that we WOULD be beaten by a team of three, one with a broken arm, another without contact lenses, in the pouring rain. Imagine.

The ball practically had to be asked to move. It was as slow and sluggish in the rain as we were. And it had a magnetic attraction to the terrier. It just wouldn't keep away from her.

Our team was like a skit from a British comedy. All slap stick. Slips and trips and passes that went nowhere. And out of the comedy of errors, with four of our players ping-pinging the ball back and forth between them, would burst the terrier, the ball in her possession.

But we had a sweet victory. 3-1. Our only victory to date. Victory by default perhaps, but a victory nonetheless. Such a great laugh. So ridiculously wet and muddy. Totally worth it.

*It turned out that they have just been dropped from a higher division and that is the only reason they are lower than us on the ladder. False hope. They will be a force to be reckoned with when they have a full team.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Planning, planning, planning...

Image from here
I have spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks planning for Christmas. Or rather, planning to plan for Christmas.

This was going to be my year. I was going to channel my inner Planning with Kids, be super organised and slide into the event unscathed. I know, I know, big dreams. I am crap at the business of planning but a girl has to try right?

The fact that our family Christmas keeps changing venues, we have no Kris Kringle plans for the adults and there is the small issue of the Buy Nothing New thing have all added to my planning dilemmas. Lucky for me I will not be the lucky host (Sister A has that honour).

The fact that we have three of our children's birthdays at Christmas too (Doo Dah is Dec 17 and the twins on Christmas day) and Doo Dah has requested a Scooby Doo party has added to my planning dilemmas (although Maxabella has put together a pinboard for me if you are interested?).

The fact that we are camping for a week with friends up the coast from Dec 27 has added to my planning dilemmas. South for Christmas, north for camping. Much packing to be done.

The fact that the Geege turns 40 in early January and wants to recreate the music festivals of our youth by having a drumming workshop and a 'sleep over' at his family's farm for a small group of his closest friends and their families has added to my planning dilemmas.

Each time I sit down to take some action, I get overwhelmed by the enormity of it all and retreat into the comfort of my latest book (The Book Thief if you are wondering. And brilliant!).

Tonight is the night though. Tonight I am writing the Master Plan. I have to start the home-made gifts and the Christmas count-down calendar and the Christmas card list. I have to plan the gifts for all the family as well as Nugget's teacher and the daycare teachers and where I will source them. I have to sort out the budget, travel plans, and holiday leave at work. I have to finalise my Pay if Forward gifts because the one-year time frame is almost up!

It is beginning to feel a bit like Christmas...

Are you big on Christmas plans in the month before Christmas?

PS: Thanks to Mum on the Run who brilliantly cracked the riddle yesterday! I will try to rummage up another one next Sunday night...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Sunday night riddle

Image from here
A farmer is taking a fox, a chicken, and a bag of grain home. To get there, he must cross a river, but he's only allowed to take one item across the bridge with them at a time. If the fox is left alone with the chicken, the fox will eat the chicken. If the chicken is left alone with the grain,the chicken will eat the grain. How can the farmer cross the river without any of his possessions being eaten?

*Answer in tomorrow's post.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Weekend Rewind - June 2011 Edition

My internet connection has been sporadic at best the past couple of weeks (hence Sister A was left in charge of the Weekend Rewind last week). Many thanks Al for a superb job, although I was very nervous about how excited you appeared to be to have access the back end of my blog. I read your posts with interest this week (as usual), paying particular attention for any signs of my neglected, half written posts, but alas, you couldn't find a suitable ending for them either!

A big welcome to all the new Rewinders including Clarabel from Elbows or Needles. We are a community folk here at the Rewind. This means commenting, sharing posts you love via Facebook and Twitter, and following people who you particularly bond with.

To play along, you need to become friends with me (if we aren't already acquainted) and link up a relevant post. It is that easy! No wonder we call it the 'World's easiest linky'.

This week is the June edition, so you should try to link up a ripper post from June for some new comment love (if you haven't been blogging that long, or had a particularly crappy month, just pick something of your choice).

I will get us started with my mummy blogger hat on... Life calendar (Note to self: You might want to start that in January 2012)

And now it is over to you...

PS: My Linkytools is out of action! We can do this old-school until I can set up the links when My Linky opens his doors. Add you links as a comment on this post, and please, try to comment at least on the person whose link appears before you. Thanks all.

PPS: You might notice I have a 'Vote for Me' badge in the top right corner. Somebody nominated me as a hopeful for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Aussie Mummy Blogs. You can vote for me by clicking through the link. Apparently once a day between now and December 8. No pressure :-)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Toilet training - the saga continues

Image from here
If there is one area of parenting the 0-5 set that I would claim to be a complete loser at, it is toilet training. I loathe toilet training. All the rewarding for mediocrity. The continuous asking (Do you need to do a wee___? Insert name of child currently undergoing TT). Children experimenting with control. Being house-bound. Dealing with wet beds and wees on the carpet. Nightmare.

I had a mixed run with the boys but the twins have just started their journey.

Nugget didn't accomplish this milestone until he was nearly 3 1/2. I waited for 'the signs' and quite honestly, I think I would still be waiting if I left it up to Nugget. He had no qualms with being the only child in a nappy.  I insisted we get it sorted before the twins came along. The fear of four children in nappies loomed large and was a great motivator.

He reached competence in a remarkably short period of time, but he relapsed when the twins were born and spent a couple of months randomly 'bush weeing' throughout the house, and, occasionally dropping a stink bomb by night. That will learn you Mum for bringing those scrawny screaming babies into the house!

A charming experience (beyond words is many ways) that I hope to one day forget (although I think dealing with a nearly four year old's poo in his nappy may in fact be printed on my memory and in my nasal passages for life).

Night time nappy-free living didn't come for him until he was nearly six. One down.

Doo Dah self initiated day-time training when he was 2 1/3. Not long after Nugget actually and I was still suffering fatigue from the relapse. I was also breastfeeding the twins. In tandem. And stuck behind the world's biggest feeding pillow. It was less than ideal timing, but I wasn't going to complain.

I moved the potty into the lounge room so I could at least be present for his toileting, but needlesstosay he was on his own, putting his own stickers on his reward chart. I know, I feel sorry for him too.

It was a beautiful thing, smooth and accident free. The only glitch was 'getting the hang' of Number 2s. He was the sort of kid who would wait until his nappy went on in the middle of the day for his 'nap' (or crap). That stage dragged on forever, but he eventually overcame it. He is still in nappies at night. One and a half down.

And so it is over to the twins. Toilet training twins is proving to be a whole new world of pain.

Dew Drop started to show interest about two weeks ago. So I pulled out the potty. He was all gung ho and managed a whole day of success. Sadly this was never to be repeated. He woke the morning after his all conquering day and frankly refused to wear undies. He has managed a couple of wees on the potty since, but to say that he lacks enthusiasm for the task is a gross understatement. Dew Drop is experimenting with control and he likes it!

The Minx on the other hand showed no interest. She looked on as Nugget made a reward chart for Dew Drop and we populated it with bright coloured stickers of the "Your bloody awesome" variety. Point blank refused to get involved.

And then, they managed to capture a wee at daycare (during a regular toilet time) and she has been a machine ever since. She has powered through her first 'wee chart', tackled her first poo on the potty (which she stated she 'did not like') and embraced her Dora undies. I would go so far as to say that she is well on the way. (One and three quarters down?) Today. But tomorrow? Could be a whole other story...

I know they all do things in their own time. I know I need to have patience and lavish them with praise. I'm just not sure I have it in me to get through another two lots of toilet training, and worse? At the same time. Argh. How good will it be though? When they are done? No more day-time nappies? I barely dare to think about it.

So I would  love you to share your best ever toilet training tip. And Mums of Multiples, tell me about your twin toilet training experiences!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Weekend Rewind - now with added Fibro....

So Multiple Mum has gone away and left me the keys to the castle... Not really. She asked me nicely to put up her Rewind post due to technical issues, gave me her password, and now, here I am! [cue maniacal, evil laugh...]

Despite the temptation to run riot with her blog (oh what fun we could have...), I am going to restrain myself and stick with the task at hand. So... deep breath...

Hi, my name is Allison and you'll usually find me over at Life In A Pink Fibro. Tonight I am here, introducing the Weekend Rewind. World's easiest linky. All you have to do to take part is to follow this here blog (you'll never regret it), and then link up an old post for some new comment love. So far, so standard. But the key to the Weekend Rewind is the comments - give and ye shall receive. Comments make the Weekend Rewind go round.

Here endeth the lesson.

And here begin the reveal of this week's theme, which, if I'm reading correctly, is May. That's right, any post from the month of May in any year. Give us your best!

That's it. I've had my fun. Signing out. Ready, set, Rewind!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

And then someone sends you this...


So much blogging fodder right there on the screen.

The perms hair. The clothes. The braces. The white lipstick. The cheesy 'waves'. I think I can even spot a fob chain. Eeek!

I had completely forgotten about this experience and then today I got an email from an old school friend. She was the recipient of this gorgeous photo. My friends and I all surprised her when she left our school for the much greener pastures of Melbourne with a series of photos of ourselves.

We arranged a professional photo shoot with the local photographer (in those days there was probably only  one in our town). We gathered together in our finery and posed and giggled and thought ourselves cool.

The last time I saw this photo was circa 1987.

I posted it to Facebook today and those gorgeous girls, now women, had much to say about our younger selves. One commenter claimed we look like we are from a Christian band camp. Another an American year book photo.

I think we were cool. Typical '80s teenagers without a care in the world.

It will keep me smiling for many days to come.

Can you pick me???

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

All blogged out?

Image from here
I have sat at my computer diligently every night since Sunday night, ready to write my next blog post. I stared at the screen and conjured up something to get me started. Willing myself to produce a post. But nothing eventuated. The cursor just tantalised me daily with its persistent flash until I closed up shop and sought solace in my book.

My mind is blank.

I have nothing. No ideas. No thoughts. No opinions. No updates. Nothing.

Could my love affair with the blogosphere have come to an abrupt and unwanted halt? Could it be true?

We will have to see what tomorrow brings, but for now I leave you with the question:

What do you do when 'blogger's block' strikes?

Friday, 4 November 2011

Weekend Rewind - April 2011 Edition

These monthly themed Weekend Rewinds are going by about as fast as the year has flown. 


I have to apologise for my poor hosting performance last week. I tried to pop over to as many posts as I could but this garage sale business takes up a LOT of time. That and the school trivia night that our table just happened to win* which resulted in a(nother) day of horizontal parenting. I promise my nights on the booze are over for the time being.


Anyhoo...


We are embracing April. A great month for me because my eldest child has his birthday. What were you doing in April 2011? I can't wait to find out.


So if you are prepared to get started, the rules of this meme remain the same each week. All you have to do is become my friend, if we are not already acquainted, then link up a relevant post from your archives and get reading and commenting. The more comments the merrier. And don't forget to Tweet, Facebook and/or Stumble your favourites to share the joy with other readers. Try to add a link back to me in your posts so that  we can expand the reach of the Weekend Rewind.


Here is mine... I need a bex and a lie down


Now show us yours...


* The prize? The honour of hosting the event next year. You can imagine how that went down?!?

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Buy nothing new for a year - the Made in China effect

Image from here
After eight months doing the challenge, many things are starting to wear out and/or break. Toys are the worst culprits, followed by clothes. Have you noticed that things seem to be made to 'replace' nowadays rather than last a lifetime? What is with that? 


Added to the cheapness of design and materials (Made in China anyone?) is the planned obsolescence (a policy of deliberately planning or designing a product with a limited useful life). All the big brands are culprits. Who hasn't bought an Apple product knowing full well that the next version will be out within a year?


I have thought a lot about how we approached purchasing in the past. While we have always had a lot of hand-me-downs, op-shop purchases and the like, when it came to buying new things we often sought a 'bargain'. Cheap and cheerful. Never the cheapest version, but never the most expensive either.


This challenge has helped me learn the value of quality over quantity. Truth be told, if I had an unlimited disposable income, I think I would have always shopped that way. But as we are slowly unravel "want" versus "need" this year, I feel we will be in a better place to manage the influence of advertising and marketing and balance that against our budget when we are able to buy new again.


I read a really great post over at G-Online about Learning how to Avoid Planned Obsolescence. In order to find things that will be easy to maintain and reuse for many years they recommend:


1. Researching. Check out consumer reports to find brands that have cheap parts and are known to be easy to maintain
2. Learning to mend. Learning basic sewing and basic DIY skills will keep your clothes and your household good going for longer (YouTube will be your friend if you are learning these new skills).
3. Buying reusable, repairable items in the first place. Taking time with the initial purchase will mean less time in the long run.


So another month of growth and development on the BNN front.


How do you manage the "Made in China" effect in your household?

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Getting ready for a garage sale

Image from here
I have been preoccupied this week. My friend Dancing in the Rain and I are hosting a combined garage sale this weekend, and there is just so much to do!

I started with the obvious; going through every single nook and cranny of the house to identify potential items for sale. I have completed the kids rooms, lounge room and some cupboards in the kitchen, but there are more cupboards to raid. The clutter is phenomenal at this point in time!

But there is a lot more to organising a garage sale, and, I might add, much more to it than the last garage sale we had circa 2001 where we did little more than bring our stuff into the driveway on the morning of the event and yet managed to sell everything we had for a tidy sum.

Once you have determined the date (ours changed once due to the weather forecast and life getting in the way), you need to find out how and when to place an ad in the local classifieds. From the websites I have read, there doesn't seem to be much point hosting a garage sale unless you advertise it (unless you live on a main road with ideal access?).

I managed to book the ad online and it was very simple (but surprisingly expensive!).

The next step was determining how much to sell things for. My friend and I did a bit of research. I asked a friend whose street had a garage sale recently how much people charged for general items such as books, clothes, DVDs and CDs. Dancing in the Rain frequented a garage sale at the weekend (checking prices and general layout) as well checking out the prices on EBay for selected things that she really wants to sell.

We discussed the results of our research and decided to have a list of general prices with a "unless otherwise marked" disclaimer so we can individually price anything a bit special.

We now need to consider how to display everything, arrange signage for pricing and the garage sale in general, and think about any little extras we might like to do on the day (e.g. a craft table for kids).

Dancing in the Rain and I are meeting on Friday to organise the last minute things and set up the 'stores'.

So tell me, how can we make our garage sale pop?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Monday, 31 October 2011

Guest posting today

For a little bit of crafty goodness from me (I know, now you have seen everything!), pop over and check out my guest post at Frog Goose Bear. It is all about handmade gifts for girls and how this uncrafty Mum has managed to find her inner creative to help keep the buy nothing new dream alive. And while you are there, if you haven't already seen her work, take the time to look around Emma's blog. Fabulous, doable crafty goodness. Trust me. You will not be disappointed.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Weekend Rewind - March 2011 Edition

There were many fabulous posts in the February 2011 Edition of the Weekend Rewind last week. I took my time getting through all the entries and savoured their sweetness. I have been laughing about Christopher Peacock and Carrie Hiscock all week. But I am like that. 


This week we are delving into the archives of March 2011. What were you posting about in March? The end of Summer? The Aussie Blogging Conference? Just stuff? Pick your favourite post and link it up for some new comment love.

So if you are prepared to get started, the rules of this meme remain the same each week. All you have to do is become my friend, if we are not already acquainted, then link up a relevant post from your archives and get reading and commenting. The more comments the merrier. And don't forget to Tweet, Facebook and/or Stumble your favourites to share the joy with other readers. Try to add a link back to me in your posts so that  we can expand the reach of the Weekend Rewind.



Here is mine... The overcompensator

Now show us yours...

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Things they do when they should be sleeping...


The daytime sleeping is not working out so well... I think they call this ransacking. We also get singing, fighting, laughing, scheming, fashion parades, bag stashing competitions, marathon 'reading' sessions, crying, yelling, deliberate ablutions, escape attempts and, occasionally, napping.

At this point in time, I am not sure if I would be better off ditching my efforts to continue the mid-day nap or soldiering on (and hoping they will reconnect with it).

They can't cope without their sleep (the arsenic hour is back) but when they do have one, they find it hard to fall asleep at night.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

How old was your child/ren when they dropped their last day sleep?

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Relocating

Image from here
As you know we are trying to move the twins out of their cots. We haven't been successful yet, not necessarily because of their sleeping (although Dew Drop is still waking every.single.night. Enough already!). The current hold up is the bedroom relocation.
I have alluded before to our small predicament of having outgrown our house. We live in a small three bedroom place and, as you know, there are six of us. All of us share with someone. I grew up sharing a room so it sure doesn't bother me to have the kids sharing rooms, but it is logistically difficult.

Every time we move from one stage to the next, the rooms need to be shuffled around. The Geege and I gave up the main bedroom when four became six because with just one living space, the older boys needed somewhere to play. Away from the loungeroom. Out from under my feet. So they got the biggest bedroom in the house, and we took the smallest. It has worked out well.

When Nugget started school we had to make room for a desk in his room (not sure why exactly because he rarely uses it!). We managed to track one down for him (and a matching one for Doo Dah) that fit snugly in the available space in their room (with a quick repositioning of beds).

But now that the twins need to have bigger beds, we need to get a built-in wardrobe in their bedroom, which means that their current six drawer chests of drawers have nowhere to go. The new beds will swamp the room. I really don't want to lose that kind of storage (do you know how much stuff can fit into those tall boys?), so another bedroom shuffle may need to occur.

It is a constant battle just fitting into our place. All the decluttering in the world (and there has been much over the years) cannot make up for the simple fact that our house has been refusing to grow another bedroom or living space. No matter how many times I have wished it! The hide of it! That will be a trip to the naughty corner, right there.

The Geege and I have regular conversations about relocating versus extending. Currently the extension wins by a narrow margin, but in truth, neither is particularly appealing. Both spell lots of effort, time and money.

On the one hand, many hours discussing details like the virtues of off-white paint (or whatever the current hue is) and the best tile for the splash back. On the other, time spent scouring the internet, attending open houses, and negotiating mortages. Sounds like a lot of hard work when really, this place is our home. Right here. Just the way it is.

Do you have any great space saving tips?

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

All volunteered out

Image from here
Today I hang up my volunteering boots for awhile.

After many years of working as a member of committees run by volunteers I have decided that I am all volunteered out.

It has never sat well with me when a committee is under-subscribed. When I see an advertisement in a newsletter for an organisation that I belong to, I always felt so bad that others were working so hard and I was not contributing. So I always responded to the call for arms. Always put up my hand.

I have been a publicity officer, a government liaison officer, a newspaper editor, and a membership secretary. I have worked with others on industrial awards, event management, recruitment drives, and rebranding of clubs. I have chaired meetings, taken countless minutes and written proposals, action plans, submissions and position descriptions.

All in my own time. All for the benefit of the community. An excellent opportunity to role model for my children. And a source of many skills and friendships for me. It has been as much fun as it has been hard work and I have no regrets for sharing my time or knowledge with others.

But today I am calling it quits. I am handing over my current role with my local Multiple Births Association with no clear plan for a new one any time soon. It is liberating.

Are you a volunteer? What are the benefits for you?

Monday, 24 October 2011

Living the sweet life

I was lucky enough to have the whole weekend off from the family to myself.

A dear old friend married her sweetheart in a gorgeous ceremony in the Hunter Valley, and while the Geege and I were both invited to attend, work and family commitments meant that I went solo*.

I imagined that I would spend some time wine tasting and lazing and finishing my book, but apart from a quick tipple at Tempus Two while I sought directions to the venue after failing to bring the Tom Tom (*that* is what men are very good for!), there was little time for solitary activities. The wedding was a DIY event and many of us spent the afternoon assisting with the set-up (as well as cleaning up the next day).

Held in an architect-designed home in a rural hideaway, the service slipped seamlessly into the reception. It was styled by two exceptionally talented friends (with a strong sense of the bride's aesthetic). There were old pews, lanterns, everlasting flowers, butterfly garlands, birdcages and Japanese prints.

The bride wore a fabulous olive kimono-like dress with touches of burnt orange and a smile that lit up the room. True to form she had a wardrobe change and dazzled in a dusty green cocktail frock in the latter part of the evening.

We partied until the wee hours.

Laughter, musical memories, dancing and conversation. The night was a mixture of reunion and reminiscence and making new friends and connections.

Just what the doctor ordered for this bunny.

How was your weekend?

*A HUGE thanks to my Mum for spending the weekend at our place babysitting the kids while the Geege was at work and I was living the sweet life.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Weekend Rewind - February 2011 Edition

I have had a crazy week this week. On Wednesday I started hosting the October Digital Parents Blogging Carnival (there are some fabulous posts so please take a look). Today I am guest posting at not one but two other blogs! I have tackled The Ultimate Alice over at Alice Becomes and shared my post called Please Keep your Germs to Yourself over at Career Mums. I would love you to stop by and say hello.


But enough about me and onto this week's Rewind...


This week is all about February 2011. Pick your favourite post and link it up for some new comment love.


So if you are prepared to get started, the rules of this meme remain the same each week. All you have to do is become my friend, if we are not already acquainted, then link up a relevant post from your archives and get reading and commenting. The more comments the merrier. And don't forget to Tweet, Facebook and/or Stumble your favourites to share the joy with other readers. Try to add a link back to me in your posts so that  we can expand the reach of the Weekend Rewind.


Here is mine... Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil? 


Now show us yours...


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Digital Parents Blog Carnival - October 2011

Digital Parents Blog Carnival


Roll up, roll up, the carnival is in town, and I am your hosting 'Carnie', MultipleMum if we haven't met before.

I am very excited to be hosting the Digital Parents Carnival this month, you have to sleep with the boss, Brenda, or wait a really, really long time for the pleasure.

Digital Parents (formerly Aussie Mummy Bloggers) has done a lot for Australian blogging, such as putting on the inaugural Blogging Conference earlier this year. Tickets for the big conference event for 2012 are on sale now so do yourself a favour and get yourself one. It will be a hoot.

To join this monthly carnival, each blogger sends their favourite post from the month before. So you get to read the cream of the crop.

Here are the entries for this month's carnival (in the order that I received them). Grab a cuppa and a small snack and get reading and commenting on these awesome posts.

Crissy Delloiaco from Phenomenal Woman has a very personal story to share in her post The Hatred that Lingers Within. It comes about tonight, as it is my Mum's birthday. My beautiful, strong mother who I had never known until 2 years ago. Well, I had known her, but I had no memory of her as my father abducted me when I was 4, from Italy where I was born and lived with my Mother and Father.
Connect: Facebook and Twitter 

Georgia from Parental Parody shares another day in her life with her post Beware the Crazy Woman at the Park. A day of parenting fails, followed by inappropriate yelling in a public space.  Just another day in the life of me.
Connect: Facebook and Twitter @parental_parody and Website

Kristyn from MummyK is linking her post 10 Things you don't want to know about me. A look at the most embarrassing and disgusting things about MummyK. Brace yourself.
Connect: Twitter @themummyk and Website

Megan from Writing Out Loud shares with us How to Jump in The Deep End. Sometimes we need to take a leap of faith into our lives - when I became a mum I did just that.
Connect: Facebook and Twitter 

EmmaK from Cocktails at Naptime is Larding It Up"Pst, wanna buy some Edam?" Will the new fat tax usher in a black market in cheese?
Connect: Twitter and Website and Book

Melissa Jane from Bright Side Up shares her tale of Seeing Through Their EyesI'm always rushing around, and sometimes it takes a lovely little voice to get me to see the important things.
Connect: Twitter

Janelle from Me and Mia writes about What I Wish I had Known aka Things I have Learnt about Parenting. About three into becoming a new parent, I wondered "Why didn't anyone tell me this is what it's really like?!" These are the things they don't tell you. No sugar coating 
Connect: Twitter @Me_and_Mia_blog

Sarah from That Space in Between wonders Have they eaten you alive? Thinking about that urgent need to rejoin the world after your first baby...or second...or third. 
Connect: Facebook and Twitter and Website

Janice from Learning 4 kids teaches us How to Help Children Develop a Love for Reading? Books stimulate the senses, arouse the imagination, and inspire a love of reading that will last a lifetime.  These are the simple everyday things I do with my own kids to encourage this love for reading. 
Connect: Facebook
Alyce from  Blossom Heart shares her post Oh Really, Lola?! And Other Social CommentaryGetting on my soapbox to incredul-ate at a perfume ad, vaccinations, and child poverty.
Connect: Facebook and Twitter

Mandy from A Little Space Like Home reflects on the 9/11 tragedy in her post 10 years on I remember. I still remember word for word what happened the day I woke to find the twin towers had been targeted.  My thoughts feelings then and now 10 years on.
Connect: Facebook and Twitter @Miss_Mandy76

Lisa Natcharian from Brainstorming the Castle blogs about educating bright children. In my post "Which One Is The Gifted One: Harry, Ron or Hermione?"  try to challenge the popular notion that "gifted" children are easily recognizable.  In US schools, tailoring education to individual students is frowned upon, with the disastrous result that many bright children are ignored, never challenged, and become so bored they stop enjoying school and stop trying to learn (I hope things are less dire in Aussie schools!).  Gifts and talents come in as many variations as stars in the sky, and it's such a shame to see any wasted.  
Connect: Website 

Kristin from Wanderlust reveals Blogging's Hottest Redheads"Bloggers + redheads = hotness squared. The post that finally made Lina swear online (twice)."
Connect:
 Facebook and Twitter

TeacherMum from TeacherMum asks What Does Your Thinking Look Like? If you had to draw your thinking, what would it actually look like? How can we use this to pull our children out of mediocrity?
Connect: Website

Kristie Tatton from Hespera's Garden shares a heart wrenching letter in her post Dear Avery. A letter to my son, 2 months after he died. The pain and the anguish of him not being here.
Connect: Facebook and Twitter @hesperasgarden

Kirsty from Mummy To Five helps answer the question that many blogger ask What To Do When You Have Writers BlockAt one time or another we will all experience writers block, here’s a way I combated it!
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Jolene from Jolene's Mumbo Jumbo tackles Underbelly Razor: Jolene's UNCUT Story. You can forget all about dodgy coppers, drug lords, pimps and prostitutes...because you haven't heard anything until you've read about the true and untold story of Jolene's 'Underbelly RAZOR!'
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Michelle from A Farmer's Wifey writes about My Country. What's not to like about the clean air and space of living in the country?
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Bronnie Marquardt from Maid In Australia links her post Styling Me. Maid In Australia gets an invitation she can't refuse ...
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Nathalie from EasyPeasyKids shares her post Parenting Styles: Here we go again! Parents, Just do what you feel is right!
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Toushka lee from toushkalee.com reveals her Domestic Goddess Fail.  A recipe and a lesson in how not to make this delightful dish.
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Sarah from Mum's the Word proclaims that Magic Happens in Our Garden.
We have a very special place at our house, its the place where imaginations take over and the magic happens...
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Tahlia from The Parenting Files says I know we all need to take some time out. It seems easy doesn’t it. Take time out….Go get a massage, get a facial, have a spa treatment, or even go to the gym, a walk, or a coffee with friends. Yet we are constantly drawn back to the housework, preparing dinner, making those phone calls to schedule appointments, tidying up the house, or dare I say it, working and writing our blog posts.
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Sonia from LIFE LOVE AND HICCUPS shares her post about Begrudgingly I am letting go of my Grudges.This post is about my attempt to change one of my worst characteristics – holding grudges.
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Allison from Life In A Pink Fibro writes a blog about writing, being a work athome mum and… whimsy. The Joy of Text reminds us that libraries teach us all sorts of things. Did you know butterflies smell with their feet?
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And finally, my post:

MultipleMum from And then there were four writes about The Shared Pillow - The Perils of co-sleeping Part 2. I would give my life for my children but I loathe sharing my pillow with them.
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A special thanks to Kristen from Wanderlust for her assistance with this process.

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