Siblings. Sometimes they fight like mortal enemies and sometimes they fit together like two little peas in a pod.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you a healthy and happy New Year with your family.

Cheers,

Lee
 
 
So here's the thing. It's hard to be all glamour at Christmas time with a two year old because it's really just a fight to keep him from kicking the tree baubles around the house every time I turn my back. So in an effort to keep him entertained and do something a little crafty (and by little, I mean not too much effort or expense on my part) I did a little searching on Pinterest and came across this nifty little crafty idea to keep the kids entertained. I first came across this idea on Sol and Rachel Do a Blog but there are heaps of different versions on Pinterest and now here is mine!

This felt Christmas Tree can be decorated over and over by the kids (felt sticks to felt - so there is no mess) and packed up and brought back out the following year.

I headed down to Spotlight for the materials and all up it cost about $11.  I purchased 1 metre of green felt for the tree and five squares of different coloured felt for the materials.

Here are my tips for making the experience as pain free as possible.

Fold the tree green felt in half. Pin the two sides together and draw your tree design on one side and then cut through both sides at the same time following the lines you have just drawn. If you try and draw the whole tree onto felt to cut out you will never be able to get it symmetrical on both sides!!

Draw templates for your Christmas decorations like the bows, balls and candy canes onto paper once and then reuse the templates by sticky taping them onto the felt and then cutting them out. You can cut through the tape and carefully peal it off the felt when your decorations are cut out.

I outlined a glass onto paper to create my template for the balls. But you could use a range of different circles like  a roll of tape or egg cups to create different size balls, which means the kids can overlay them on top of each other or put them up separately.

I stuck my tree to the wall using bluetac and the felt "sticks" to itself - so you can hang the decorations again and again and again.
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How could you not LOVE this idea!? Look at that happy little face!

I am going to be taking a bloggy break from my usual posting schedule over the school holiday period so that I can spend some time with and on my ferals... I mean children and the rest of my family. I will be doing more the occassional post rather than my usual schedule of posts over this time.

As I will probably be knee deep in kiddy activity stuff up until Christmas and beyond- I would like to take a moment to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas period and a safe and healthy start to 2013. See you in the New Year.

Merry Christmas,

Lee
 
 
I have been awarded the Liebster blog award by two lovely bloggy people:

Jay from learningtoplayandplayingtolearn 

and

Tracey from blissamongstchaos.blogspot.com.au

Thanks girls!! I didn't win a spot in the top 25 family blogs but this feels just as nice. I was just pipped at the post, coming in at number 28 but with 125 blogs up for the top spots I didn't do too bad!

What is a Liebster award you may ask ... 

"The award  is given to support and recognise up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers (on their blog) or likers (on their Facebook page). The word “Liebster” apparently has German origins and is reported to mean sweetest,  kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. By following some basic rules (answer 11 questions set by your nominee, write 11 questions of your own and pass the award onto 11other  bloggers to answer) it enables readers to get to know new bloggers and connect  with a wider audience."

Sweetest and cutest, orrrr Shucks guys - stop it I'm blushing!

I had two different lots of questions one from each nomination so I have combined the two lots to come up with one lot of 11 questions. Here they are.... (drumroll please)

1. How long have you been blogging?

6 Months! Wow, I had to go back and have a look and I am one day off my six month anniversary. It didn’t feel that long, I’m really surprised by that!
  
2. Inside or outside?

Definitely inside. I don’t mind going for a walk but I am an inside person. 

 3. If you could have as many children as you wanted, how many would you have?

The same as I have now, two. I would not want to have anymore! I think if I had more than two I’d have a mental breakdown. Unlike now... where I am totally sane......

4. What is your favourite TV show at the moment?

Once Upon a Time – but it seems I may be alone on that because every time I try to bring it up in conversation to talk about it, no one seems to be watching it!

5. What is your favourite colour?

It changes. I love green... but I also love orange. I can’t choose.... and sometimes it’s Van Gogh Yellow. I’m sorry .. I can’t commit. 
 
6. Best book you ever read?

There are too many good ones.. I can’t choose just one but I could not put down the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy or the Hunger Games Trilogy. But they were both great for different reasons. 
  
7. What is your 'houseworking' music of  choice?

Definitely dance music. I’m loving Britney and will.i.am’s new song Scream and Shout and  Pitbull’s and David Guetta’s new albums. 

8. What is one word your friends would use to describe you?
 
Honest
  
9. What is your favourite quote?

If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do?
  
10. What is your favourite movie of all time?

The Wedding Singer... sad but true. 
  
11. Do you prefer wine or spirits?

Do I really have to choose??   
I would now like to pass the award onto 11 deserving and sweet blogs ..

Musings of the Misguided
Little Miss Marmalade
Organised Chaos
Declutterbug versus Captain Stingypants
MinsMash
The Divvy Spot
Mumabulous
Melbourne Mum
Family Survival Coach
10% Inspired
It's not Art it's dinner

And here are my questions

1. Why did you start blogging?
2. How often do you post on your blog?
3. Beach or Mountains?
4. Country or City?
5. Do you find blogging a chore or a joy?
6. Have you ever considered giving up blogging?
7. What do you really want for Christmas?
8. Boys or girls - which one is easier?
9. Are you more creative or analytical?
10. Planner or just see what happens?
11. The future of your blog?

Really looking forward to seeing your answers so make sure you post your blog link for your Liebster Award on Mother Loads facebook page so we don't miss out!!

Cheers,

Lee

 
 
I had a post all ready to go today and then Connecticut happened. It's hard to believe that we are so connected through the internet that it almost feels like it happened here in Australia.

I felt compelled to write a post about this absolute tragedy which has just happened to 26 innocent little souls in America because I can't talk about it. Every time I go to breach the subject with someone in person it makes me want to cry and I know if I open the floodgates - they might not close.

Every parent's worst nightmare was realised when a 20 year old lone gun man walked into a school in Connecticut and mowed down 20 innocent children and six of their teachers and care givers. It has left so many people wondering what could possess someone to commit such a horrific, senseless crime and it has left 26 families with wounds so big they will never fully heal.

As a human being you cannot help but feel affected by this tragedy but as a parent you can not help but spend a little longer hugging your own children and a little more time watching them play and sleep and take part in the great adventure of life which surrounds them and feel so very very sad for those that have lost that.  

The cyclone which is currently threatening Fiji is Cyclone Evan and I'm pretty sure it was named after our Cyclone Evan - the two and a half year old that lives in my house and is currently enjoying his afternoon nap. He has two speeds - off and full on. He sleeps like an angel but when he is awake he is full on ... it's like he is in a rush to experience life before it runs out. He wants to touch, feel, taste, say and do everything - right now. It's amazing to watch and exhausting to experience but right now it makes me feel so very sad. Those families in Connecticut just days ago had someone in their lives that affected them, whose sadness and joy and little quirky ways had an impact on their lives... and now those people are gone. They went off to school, somewhere their parents and friends and families never dreamed they would be unsafe and now they will never come home.

I have found this whole terrible terrible event so very sad and absolutely heartbreaking and even though we are more than an ocean away I feel so connected to their grief. Although it is hardly enough,  I send my deepest sympathy to those families in America who have been absolutely gutted by this tragedy so close to Christmas and I wanted to let them know that there are others in the world who grieve with and for them. My heart breaks for you in your loss.

 
 
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Having my first baby felt a little like someone giving me the keys to a beautiful brand new car and saying "here, go for it", when I didn't know how to drive. In theory it looks easy enough, I mean, I had ridden in a lot of cars. I had seen lots of other people drive cars but it just didn't feel natural for me. Everything I did felt unnatural and forced. I was always worried that I wasn't doing it right, that everyone else knew what they were doing but me.

When we first brought our little guy home from the hospital I joined a Mothers Group and while this really helped in some ways in other ways it just proved to me that I had no idea what I was doing. I mean, how come their babies were sleeping better? Eating better? Doing what they were supposed to be doing? Did I have a dud baby or was I just a dud? Why didn't I know what I was doing? When was I finally going to get a handle on all things baby and just know what to do and when oh when, was I going to get a full night's sleep?? It just felt like some long drawn out torture.

Oh and don't even get me started on those people who claim they can understand what their baby is saying to them by the tone of the oooh or aahhh. It was all the same to me, everything just sounded loud and foreign. If my baby was trying to communicate with me, I obviously wasn't getting it. What was wrong with me?

I went along to one of my first mothers groups and the clinic nurse who was running it asked each mum if they only had a few dollars left what would they spend it on. Each reply was pretty much the same, "something for the baby". When it got to me, I answered the same, mostly because that's what I thought I should say but also because I had no idea. I was so tired and overwhelmed by the whole experience it almost felt like sitting the entrance exam for a cult. Did I actually have anything in common with these people? Was the fact that each one of us had just given birth to another human being the only thing that bonded us? Would someone mind holding my baby for a few minutes so I could just lie down on the floor and have a sleep?

Due to having had my head down the toilet for a great portion of the nine months I was gestating my parasite... I mean, pregnant, and the difficulty of the birth and now the lack of sleep I had come to the conclusion that I was never, ever again going to subject myself to such extreme torture. One of my best friends around three to six months in had (as had a lot of mothers, I was later to find out) decided that they would indeed be hopping on the miracle of life ride again. My friend (being an only child herself) had this feeling that she was not finished creating her family and that she definitely wanted to add to her clan. I on the other hand felt more than full up with my family load. Sorry, no room here, we're full!!

You would be surprised by the amount of people who are so very offended by this. Like it is a personal affront to them that you are happy to have an only child. I had people I had just met at outings offer to look after my child so that my husband and I could pop home to create a sibling. I even had one woman tell me how devastating it would be if I raised my son, only to lose him in some type of horrific accident as a teen and wouldn't I feel so much better if I had more than one?? "What, like a backup?" I asked incredulously. 

Anyhoo, we moved along with the whole being parents thing almost like someone being washed along in a flood and just trying to make the best of their situation. It didn't feel natural, it felt hard. And I wasn't rushing out to have another one to make other people happy or to have a "backup".... seriously are you kidding me!? I would like to say that being a mum got easier and it did, some days and then some days I just scratch my head and wonder what the hell I am doing and planning how I can run away from home.

Cheers,

Lee



 
 
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Well we finally got there.. double figures. There were many days when I had to stop myself from leaping across the breakfast bench to wrap my hands around that scrawny little neck when I had just had enough but we made it in the end.

Today my little guy has reached the ripe old age of 10. The day started with gifts and friends and ended with ice cream cake. I love this kid more than life itself and even though there have been many times when I did not know what I was doing we made it here anyway.

I love you baby. Have a wonderful birthday.

 
 
I read a tweet the other day where someone said how beautiful her children looked when they were sleeping and I thought, aren't they all? No matter what kind of crime your children have committed during the day, including driving you to the brink of insanity - they still look like little angels when they are asleep.

I think that fact is a gift - to help you wipe away all the annoyances and frustrations and start fresh again the next day. I know I myself sneak in each night and just spend a few moment gazing down on them both in their sleep and it fills my heart with love for them and their vulnerable little bodies. I think I need to work more on holding onto that feeling the next time they are driving me crazy and I have visions of running away from home.

Cheers,

Lee
 
 
Here's the thing, being a stay at home mum is one of the most underrated and demanding jobs you can do, there are no financial rewards but on the upside you do get paid in kisses and hugs.. which most people would not want from their bosses anyway (yep, I know you just thought about a boss paying you in hugs and kisses .. now get that visual image out of your head) and aside from the lack of monetary gain there are also no special lunches for peoples birthdays, no after work drinks (drinking on your own doesn't count) and no Christmas party.

So imagine how pleased I was to have the chance to frock on up and go along to my hubbies work Christmas party and it was nice. Nobody tried to hit on anyone else's wife and nobody tried to photocopy their butt. Probably the fact that it was not held in the office assisted with the last activity failing to occur. This year the party was held at Melbourne Aquarium (oooh fancy) and it was a really nice event. Waiters meet us at the door with glasses of champagne and moved around the crowd with trays of delicious morsels.  There were actually a number of work dos being held there at the same time - so we didn't actually know everyone but it made for some interesting people watching. Unfortunately I don't have pic's of the  best and worst dressed which is disappointing as there was someone there who would have given Lady Ga Ga a run for her money but I still have a few pic's of the night.
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My hubby and I getting out feral free for a nice night out.
Here's hoping that you have gotten out to enjoy at least one Christmas party or drinks this festive season. I do have one or two more smaller events to go, including drinks out with friends from the gym... but I am thinking that's the type of event where someone may just end up photocopying their butt ... I'll keep you posted.

What event are you looking forward to most in the lead up to Christmas?
 
 
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O.K, I admit it my son sucks and the really weird thing about it is that people don't mind. In fact most people say he will just grow out of it. When?? When will this happen? When his little teeth are so buck tooth that he can't bite into an apple? When his bite is so out that even when he has his teeth clenched there is still a gap? Too late, this has already happened. Yes, I know at two and a half that they are only baby teeth but I don't see how this can't possibly effect the way his little mouth forms. So what do you do about it??

Well, I have looked at multiple solutions, I would like to say with varying degrees of success but in truth, nothing has made the slightest dent to his addiction to his thumb. I have been told not to make a big deal of it in front of him, mostly by adults who also sucked and still harbour resentment to their parents for embarrassing them about something they enjoyed so much. So I casually remark as I walk past, "take your thumb out" and variations of this. He does for a moment and then pops it straight back in. So, off I went to the chemist in search of a cure and all of the products I was offered were for adult nail biters and had alcohol in them - which I am not going to give to my child. There seems to be nothing available on the mainstream market, so I headed to the health food shop in search of an answer. Again I was left with an assistant scratching their head and not being able to offer one. In fact one health food shop suggested putting lemon juice on his thumb. But seeing that we had spent the previous day making lemonade and he had spent a good part of it sucking on each lemon, I failed to see how that was going to make any significant impact on my problem.

So I am left with a delema in search of an answer. There must be someone out there with an answer. Anyone?

Cheers,

Lee

 
 
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Alright, I admit it I have been a slack arse with my usual tightly scheduled posts. But in my defence I was out experiencing life and didn't want to dull the experiences at the time by stopping to write about them... (that's my story and that's what I'm going with).

So what have I been doing? Well a bit here and there with the kids, sorting out and wrapping all the Christmas presents to make sure I hadn't accidently missed anyone - which I had, so good thing I'm on the ball with the wrapping and what not.

We decided to get the Christmas tree out this year but with a two and a half year old I feel it is still fraught with danger. We didn't get it out last year because I was worried he would pull it over on himself but I really don't know if this year will be much different. We didn't even put decorations on the lower branches because, seriously, that's just asking for trouble. Regardless, he still keeps gravitating back to it like a moth to a flame - just looking for trouble. My kids and the kids from next door decorated it. It actually looks like they all just stood back and threw stuff at it but it's all good. That's what Christmas is about, sharing time with family and friends. It shouldn't have to be perfect, we don't live in a department store.

My husband doesn't go with that theory, he likes everything to be evenly spaced and colour co-ordinated - he doesn't actually do it, he just likes it to be that way. Well, I'm sorry but life is too short for that crap. He walked into the room to inspect the carnage.... I mean decorations, took a deep breath and said "So, you're happy with that?" to which I replied "Yep" and he said "You're happy with the spacing of everything and how it all looks?" again I go with  "Yep" and he walks away shaking his head.

I have a friend who used to work as a visual merchandiser at a department store and his tree always looked worthy of a Christmas catalogue with a perfectly dressed (and clean) little family sitting beneath it.  In fact the first year he was married, his wife and he set up their Christmas tree and she told me she had never known there were so many rules involved in tree decorating and she was certainly not aware that all the presents had to be colour co-ordinated as well! I might add that this was when their family was smaller, just the two of them. They have recently had a small, demanding, noisy little person come to live with them and I am keen to see if Christmas tree perfection is still on the top of their list of priorities.

Christmas decorations have been out now in full force since July (oh, OK I am exaggerating - but it's only a matter of time before that happens) but I refuse to put anything up in the house until the first of December so that we are at least on the downhill slide to the season of celebration and it feels more Christmassy. So we have a select few pieces out this year and depending on how successful this is we may put more out next year when grabby hands are not so, well, grabby.

Have you set your tree up yet? Are the kids involved in the process or are you like my friend and will only except Christmas tree perfection? I might also add in parting that it wasn't until I had children of my own that I understood why people put those ugly little handmade things on the tree and now that I have my own, they seem beautiful to me. Weird how being a parent changes your perspective so much.

Have you set up the decorations yet? How was your experience? Let me know, I promise I won't judge either way.... well only if you're really anal about it all and everything has to be perfect and then I may judge just a little.

Cheers,

Lee