Monday, January 3, 2011

What do you count as success?

*guest blogger*
Well there you go.  The space under the tree is pretty empty, the wheelie bin is full, the fridge is (still) full, the cricket is on, and the Christmas party is officially over for another year.  Around about now everyone’s thoughts turn to reminiscing over the year that was, and thinking up resolutions for the year to come.  Get fit, eat less crap, eat more veggies, keep the house clean, take the dog for walks, do some further study, get a new job etc etc.  But what do you count as success?  For example a new job – is it a payrise, a new title, promotion, move to a new company, or all of the above?  Of course, it’s important to have resolutions and goals, to want more from life and be prepared to go and get it.   But it’s also important to give yourself a chance to succeed.
In kids’ minds, a year is just about inconceivable.  And out of necessity we parents end up thinking in kid-timeframes as well.  In other words, a year is a ridiculous amount of time to think about!  Over 2010, I received two very useful pieces of advice which I would love to share with you.
      1.        Andre Agassi says that the way to achieve is to always try and be a little bit better every day.  You can’t think about winning Wimbledon on your first day of tennis lessons because it’s just too far away and too much of a leap from your current position.  So every day, you just try and hit a little bit harder than yesterday, and over time, you will make great improvements, and sometimes even win a grand slam.

2.       Anne, my Weight Watchers leader, says if you make a mistake, it’s not helpful to beat yourself up over what you did wrong.  It’s what you do now, today that counts.  So if yesterday I ate half a pack of TimTams, and today I beat myself up over it, I’ll probably end up feeling rotten and eating the other half a pack, making today just as bad.  So instead, I can clean the slate, forget about yesterday, be positive, and enable myself to eat healthy instead.

In 2011 I am making 365 daily resolutions instead of a yearly one.  Every day I am going to resolve to be a better mum in some way than the day before.  Every day the resolution might be different – yell a little less, hug a little more, be a bit stricter, be a bit more relaxed, pick the kids up from daycare early and go to the park, stay home all day and play, or make an effort to find something new and exciting for the kids to do.  Every day, a new resolution.  Small, manageable increments.  Easy to forgive and forget if I don’t quite succeed, easy to try again the next day, and easy to measure my achievements.  This time next year, I’ll look back and know that I got a little bit better every day, and 365 little achievements will add up to an awful lot
. wants to thank all guest blogger Miss Cup O' Tea for all her insights....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The year that was 2010...

I thought as it's getting closer to Christmas and the end of 2010 that I would share my reflections on the year that was 2010.

  • I became even more addicted to watching the T.V series; True Blood and Burn Notice...
  • I watched my 3mth old baby grow into a walking, babbling, throwing toddler...
  • We endured months of sickness (thank you day care) and now have immune systems of steel...
  • I thought about loosing weight...alot!! But have had to realise that thinking about it doesn't actually make it happen (damn it); this is on my 2011 list...
  • I came up with an idea that would make parents life easier and so the decision to launch alittlebird was made even though I haven't had an unbroken nights sleep in over 12 months...phew!
  • Further to sleep and lack of it; we spent a week at sleep school, controlled cried, rocked, patted, nursed and finally co-slept in order to stay sane during those broken nights....
  •  I did not spend nearly enough "date nights" with my hard working husband (it's also on the list for 2011)
  • I gained new friendships through my mothers group that I know will last a lifetime...
  • I saw alittlebird go live in August (yay!) and have since seen our community grow and benefit from what started as an idea..
  • I realise my friends can get tired of hearing "I'm working" whenever I'm asked "what are you doing tonight"
  • I have learnt heaps personally and professionally and look back over the journey 2010 has taken me through with a smile on my face and am eternally grateful for the amazing supportive people in my life :)
So how was your 2010 and what are your thoughts on 2011?

I'm looking forward to 2011 bringing my family and I prosperity, good health and a few less kg's for me would be great.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The adventures of 1 Advent Calendar and 2 Kids...

(Guest Blogger)
Advent Calendars
So here we all are, counting down the days until the Fat Man visits.  I’ve noticed all the comments on facebook and like many of you, we too have an advent calendar (thanks Ma-Ma and Grandad, that was a very special visit from the postlady).  
To my mind, an advent calendar gives a visual reminder and countdown to Christmas Day.  As a child, I would be so excited to receive it in the mail from my own grandparents, and ‘negotiate’ a roster of door-opening with my siblings.  It was all fairly well executed and reminded us of the religious nature of the event, because in those days there was no chocolate inside, only parts of the Christmas story so that when all the doors were read in sequence, the full story of Mary & Joseph & baby Jesus was revealed.
Now my kids have their advent calendar and it’s a totally different affair.  We have Rudolph on the front and chocolate inside.  The only mystery to it is the shape  embossed on the chocolate.  Every morning we open a door and get the chocolate, and usually share it without too many hassles. 
The problems actually start approximately 30 seconds after the calendar is put back on the shelf, when Miss 18mths says “chocolate” (in her own special way) and tries to climb up to get more.  When I say no, she throws herself kicking and screaming onto the floor.  Then Mr 3 joins in with the “why not” and instantly it’s total chaos.  This scenario repeats a few times a day and seriously, I can’t stand the calendar!  Meanwhile the ants got stuck into it overnight so we’ve had to clean off and re-engineer the whole thing. 
Instead of bringing the joy of anticipation to our December, the chocolate has brought tantrums (theirs) and tears (mine).  Next year I’m talking to Ma-Ma and Grandad about finding some religion instead!  Does anyone know where to buy non-chocolate calendars???
It’s all over… Mr 3 found the stash of chocolate in the fridge this morning, where we had hidden it (badly) to protect it from ants and children.  He came to me this morning with chocolate literally spilling out of his mouth.  For this year at least, the dream is over!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rainy Day Ideas!!!

Are your kids stuck inside for another rainy day?

alittlebird is here to help with some great Rainy Day Ideas for kids.
Rainy days don’t have to be dull and boring. Don’t forget to improvise to create craft ideas for kids. With a little preparation, your children will almost be wishing that every day is a rainy day.

Share with us your favourite Rainy Day Ideas.

§  Make a book. Kids of all ages can work on making a book. Young children may want to make picture books while older children can write out a full story. You can bind your books using either a stapler or string. Don’t forget a cover!

§  ABC scavenger hunt. Give each child a piece of paper that has the ABCs written on it. Children must go around the house looking for things that start with each letter. The first one to find an object for each letter wins.

§  Play board games. Board games are great for rainy days and getting children to play together. You should always have a couple of different choices on hand. You may want to periodically swap games with another family. This way, you can make sure that your kids never get bored with the games you have on hand.

§  Baking. Rainy days are also a great time to bake some cookies. Kids love to help out with cooking and this will give them something to do. If you make sugar cookies, they can also decorate them after they’ve been baked.

§  Crafts. Make a special “rainy day craft box”. Inside, put in various craft supplies such as paints, markers, glue, glitter, and clay. If you only allow your children to use these craft tools on rainy days, they will be excited when a rainy day comes around. Every once in awhile, get a new craft for the box so that they will be surprised.

§  Puzzles. This is a great time to bring out a 1000 pieces puzzle and have everyone in the family work together to complete it. If you have a child that is too young to do this, you can find a piece and tell them where to put it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The emergency bag!

(guest blogger)

Well this week I finally did it... 

After 3 ½ years of parenting, keeping an emergency bag in each car fully stocked with nappies, clothes, shoes, hats, bottles, drink cups, sunscreen, bum cream, toys, and goodness-knows-what-else for each kid...

I finally needed the emergency bag!

Because of course, I always carry the monster bag with everything I need anyway, so for 3 ½ years I haven’t actually needed the emergency bag... until this weekend.

So this weekend, I left the monster bag on the kitchen bench, and took off to another town to visit Grandad.  I realised due to a bizarre series of events and car-swapping I had no emergency bag either.  No matter, we were cool.  Then I went on a whim for an overnight visit at my parents’ house in another town.  2 ½ hours from home I connected the dots and realised I had used the last nappy and had absolutely nothing for the kids, not even a change of clothes.  AARGH!

Never fear, a quick trip to the shops sorted nappies, milk and toothbrushes, and I figured nothing else mattered.  I put the kids to bed in oversized clothes I scraped up at mum’s place and chucked everything else in the wash.  Voila – sorted.  The only thing we REALLY missed was a security teddy, but after so much time playing with the grandparents, my little boy was so tired he went to sleep without. 

So now I ask myself the question – knowing I will survive happily without it - can I ditch the emergency bag idea, or is it a sensible “Be Prepared” precaution?  Do you carry everything everywhere you go, nothing, or something in between?  Let us know!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kids...we love them through and through...

Oh what a week!! When your kids are sick and you have to spend the whole entire week quarantined to the house; how do you stay sane?

By the end of my "I can't do anything but hold you" week; I was very thankful when the weekend finally rolled around but it also made me realise a few things:

1. I like my dedicated work days (tiny human day care days) where I can wholly concentrate on my work and do what I need to do during those days.

2. I like my dedicated "tiny human" days; where I look forward to spending the whole day with my special little guy knowing I don't even have to turn the computer on if I don't want to (ok I do when he's sleeping tehe)

3. If I don't get Point 1 and Point 2; well it's not pretty.

I know; sickness happens; kids get sick and there's nothing we can do about it; I whole heartedly accept it although it doesn't mean I have to like having a child permanently attached to my waist all week.

I know I know I sound wingy but the real reason I wanted to share my tail of woe last week is that I do have a saving grace that I wanted to share with everyone and no it's no vodka ;).

It's a little book called "I love you through and through" and even after a terrible day with the small people in our life when I read this book at the end of every night; I am only filled with love and appreciation for my special little guy. (Thank you book depository)

I came across the book during my week long stay at Sleep School where I met an incredible bunch of women including one lady in particular who mentioned this book to me. She was at sleep school for her youngest who wouldn't sleep plus had full time care of her disabled toddler; this book helped her stay sane.

So when times get tough just remember that you love their top side and their bottom side, their insides and their outsides. But most of all we love them through and through...yesterday, today and tomorrow too :) 

Share your thoughts on how you stay sane when the kids are sick at home.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunshiney Goodness...

Out and the yard!

What gorgeous weather we have been having; so we decided to get out and our own backyard.

With all the rain we've been having the weeds have literally taken over our yard and all our gardens; some nearly as tall as me (eek). It’s also super annoying whenever the cat or Koby or well anyone goes outside they always come back with those “sticky prickles” all over them; something had to be done!

So sunscreen, hats and gloves on; we started the massive task of weeding and the funny thing is we all started to really enjoy it. Koby did his best to help with the weed pulling in between throwing pebbles and chasing our cat Mr Sooty; who is becoming the best “baby sitter” ever. If you ever turn around and wonder  ”where’s koby?” just look for Sooty; that’s where Koby will be.

So with about 20% of the gardens weeded we had a family excursion down to the local nursery to pick out some new plants. It was a great way for us as a family to spend the weekend; outside in the fresh air; tending to the garden and accomplishing well overdue tasks.

NB: The only negative; I seemed to have forgotten to sunscreen my entire right arm; which by the end of the day was a bright lobster red while my left arm a lovely pale sunscreen covered colour; oh dear!!

Sunday Markets

With $20 in my pocket; one bright red arm and Koby strapped into his pram we ventured down to the local Ferny Grove Markets. Wow!!! So many great bargains to grab, loads of plants and those yummy little tiny pancakes. We picked up a $4 book of “Games to play with toddlers” (I have the predecessor “ Games to play with babies” and it’s awesome), $3 swim suit for kobys swimming lessons in great condition and for $10; a toy bus packed full of mega blocks.

We took off from there on our way to the Mitchelton Farmers Market; this time rather than take the pram I thought I would let Koby practise his walking; with a quick stop at the atm. But would you believe all 3 places to withdraw money on Blackwood Street were all empty; so with a quick walk through the markets; meeting various puppies; we went home empty handed.

Swimming classes

Do you take your kids to swimming; do they love it? We’ve been going every week since Koby was 4 mths old and he loves it. He loves it so much he has turned into a spectacle due to how crazy he is in the pool! All the other parents have quite dignified kids who do all the correct moves and manage to leave the pool with most of their hair nice and dry; unlike me who is completly soaked through from Koby’s insane splashing which is while I keep him at arms length.

With the warmer months coming I have to say it’s a relief to know that Koby is so confident in the water and we are looking forward to our holiday at Caloundra and enjoying the sun, sand and sunshine.

Where are you taking the kids this xmas; share here with other parents.