29 January 2013

Craft: Family handprint artwork

Over the Christmas break my little family made a simple handprint artwork for our hallway.

The handprints were done in order of the family member with the largest hand (which was Daddy's) to the smallest hand (Cherub's).

For the paint we all chose our favourite colour...then ta-da, our artwork was complete!

All you need is:
  • A blank canvas
  • Paint brushes
  • Water
  • A selection of water based paints (I used school grade acrylic paints, which are easy to wash off)
  • Sticky wipes (easy to clean little hands that want to go straight into the mouth!)

The painting is a lovely reminder to look back on and see how big your little one's hands were at that age (Popette is 4, and Cherub at the time was 15 1/2 months).

For more craft ideas visit "Kids craft".


24 January 2013

What I have learnt in 40 years so far (my top 5 lessons)

At the end of this month I will have spent a month being 40, amazingly, I haven't had a nervous breakdown, cried uncontrollably or got all emotional about turning the big 4-0 and become a recluse. I have remained relatively calm (unless of course you count the times I have been stressed out by "Popette" and "Cherub"), and on my special day enjoyed a lovely day out with my little family to the city. Where we had dined on seafood, played at the National Maritime Museum, then picked up some yummy cake from Adriano Zumbo which we shared with my Mum. I think the only emotional time during the day was when I was thinking about my Dad and wishing he could be here with us.

I guess I thought turning 40 would make me into one big emotional mess found sobbing in a corner, and thinking that life as we know it was about to end. It's not as bad as I originally thought. Yes, I am getting older but there is nothing I can do about it, except embrace it, and enjoy my life.

For too long I have worried what others have thought, worried about "should haves" or "what ifs", but no more. I've decided that life is too short to stay worried, and that I need to enjoy what I've got!

So today I thought I'd share with you my top 5 lessons I have learnt in my 40 years so far.

1. Stop putting things off tomorrow which should be done today!

On the weekend my Hubby had a health scare resulting in us spending 5 hours at the hospital where he was prodded, tested, x-rayed and had blood taken from him. It scared us both, and made us realise it's not just the two of us anymore, it's 4 of us, and that we need to start thinking about our little girls and make sure they will be okay if something ever happened to us.

So on Monday we wrote a list of things we "Must Do". For example, Writing a will - this is something we keep putting off as we don't know who to put down as guardians for our girls. We have siblings, but unsure who would look after our girls to the best of our wishes. We haven't appointed Godparents for our girls, so it's a job that will require some serious thinking.

It's all those type of things you put off as you really don't want to have to think about the inevitable. So we put it to the side, and think that we will get around to it some day.

This weekend I will be getting my cholesterol test done, which is something I haven't had done in years.

2. Noone is going to hand something over to you, unless you work hard for it.

Unless of course, you are Famous, Royalty or have zillions of dollars, but for us average working & non-working Joe's, we have to scrimp & save, or work two jobs, to be able to buy something we like, go on holidays, or buy/renovate a house etc.

At the end of the day, the only person who is going to look after yourself is YOU.

If you've got a wonderfully supportive Hubby/Wife/Partner, Family or Friend, that is great, but at the end of the day YOU are the one making your life's decisions.

3. The only way to improve yourself is to make the first steps yourself.

If you don't like your hair, make an appointment with a hairdresser or get a friend to colour your hair for you. If you don't like the way you dress, book an appointment with a stylist or borrow some fashion magazines or books from the library for ideas. If you want a new career or be better educated; Join a community class, Enrol in a course, Borrow books from the library, Join a social group or read the paper.

Its no good saying to yourself "I would like to learn this one day". Make a decision about what it is, and Start!

4. Meeting new people and making friends takes work.

I've never been great at making new friends. It's not that I'm a horrible person or anything, it's just that I'm a little shy and an introvert, and sometimes find it hard to drum up a conversation making it look like I'm not interested in getting to know people.

In saying this, the only way you will make friends is by coming out of your shell or your comfort zone, and by talking to people and getting to know them.

Try introducing yourself to new people. This could be Mums within a Mums group or at the school drop-off, people you see each week at one of your children's activities (ie. playgroup, dancing, soccer, music classes, etc).

5. If you are sick of being overweight, you won't lose it unless you get off the lounge, and do some form of exercise!

If you can't afford a gym or personal trainer; maybe try a dance, Zumba, Yoga or Pilates class; try walking the kids to school/daycare instead of driving them, take the dog or baby for a walk, splash around in the pool with the kids or run around with them outside in the fresh air.

These are all areas I could probably do with some improvement on, especially the last one, exercise. Since I've had the girls I've put weight on. So this year one of my 'resolutions' is to lose weight and get healthy. Hubby and I are on the CSIRO diet, so have made a start.

What are your top 5 lessons you've learnt so far this year?

18 January 2013

My "big girl"

Last week I wrote about our busy week of birthday celebrations. But one birth(day) which I won't ever forget is of my "Popette". "Popette" recently turned 4, so is officially my big girl! It's scarey to think that next year she may be heading off to "big school" (as she affectionately calls it). For me, it doesn't seem that long ago when she was our most precious, sweet, tiny baby girl who was born early into the world! You can read about her birth story here.

"Popette" is such a chatterbox, like most toddlers, she talks a lot! There are times when I need to escape from her, as my head starts pounding from all that talking!

I love watching her play on her own and with her sister "Cherub". Today she was role playing, and talking about herself in the 3rd person, which was funny to hear.

She is very attentive to "Cherub". Some days she will tell me "Mama, "Cherub" wants to watch Peppa", of course, it couldn't possibly be "Popette" wanting to watch Peppa Pig! Or she will tell me if "Cherub" is getting into something she shouldn't...which happens a lot lately. Latest example is her telling me that "Cherub" has crawled under the dining room table soon after breakfast. (We have tiles in the dining room, which I hate, no matter how much I sweep or mop them, they always look grubby. "Cherub's" knees always get grubby from crawling around on the floor, especially in the dining room, so it's become a bit of a "No Go Zone" for her.)

"Popette" is very cheeky. She loves telling stories. The other day we did some painting together, where she was telling me about her painting. It was a Gruffalo who was eating "Gruffalo crumble" (what the?) and while he was eating it, he hurt his hand and it started to bleed. So she then painted a bandaid on the hand. (See below pic)

Popette's painting of the gruffalo with a bandaid

Then in detail she told me how he used to be friends with a mouse. I asked what happened to the mouse. She replied that the gruffalo had eaten him!

She's only seen a little of the Gruffalo movie, as she was scared and wanted it turned off, so I'm not sure if that's what actually happened?

I love watching "Popette" learn new things, lately its writing her name and other letters. She also loves drawing and building houses out of her blocks, the other day it was a home for Barbie. While there are times she drives me crazy, and I wish she was at daycare that day, I do love spending time with her.

I know there are some Mums who have no choice to return to work after having a baby, and miss out on the first few years of their child's life. I think its the most important time of their young lives as they learn and conquer all of their 'firsts' ("Cherub" is so close to walking, she made a few steps with her walker last night!) and its a time that you can't get back. So I count myself as lucky to be able to take time off working and be with my girls, while it drives me crazy, I am grateful to have this time to at home with them.

I thought I'd share some lovely photos of my "big girl".

Did you take time off work to be at home with your children, or return to work straight away they were born?

My "big girl"
Playing together at the water table

07 January 2013

Birthday celebrations come to an end

Hello Everyone!

Happy New Year (I know I'm a bit late), but we've had a very busy week at my household so haven't had time to do much on the blog. We've had birthday's galore this past week.

It all started on New Years Eve with yours truly turning 40 (yep, the big 4-0), and guess what I'm fine about it. I didn't burst into tears. Instead I had an awesome day with my little family, who spoilt me very much. Hubby bought me some beautiful diamond & black pearl drop earrings (which he thought I didn't like, but for the record, I DO like), then I was taken for a day out into the City for a seafood lunch by the water and a couple glasses of bubbly, which was lovely!

We couldn't end the day without a trip to the National Maritime Museum where "Popette" had fun playing at the Water World park, and exploring the Pirates exhibition (yet again!). Afterwards we bought a deliciously, wicked dessert from Adriano Zumbo to share with my Mum for my birthday cake.

Then at the strike of midnight on NYE, it turned into my Hubby's birthday. He is still a youngen at 39, so has a whole year of his 30's left. I keep telling him that "40's is the new 30's, so I'm really still only 30" hahaha. So on New Years Day we took my Hubby out for a steak lunch, and later a play at an amusement arcade with "Popette" and "Cherub".

Our last birthday celebration was for "Popette" who turned a big 4! It only feels like yesterday when she was a tiny toddler learning to walk and saying her first words. How quickly the past 4 years have come & gone.

"Popette" had a fun-filled day with her best friend at McDonalds for a play on the play equipment and a McHappy meal, then back at our place for further play and cake. This year "Popette's" request was for an Ariel cake. I was a bit unsure how I was going to make a mermaid, but luckily "Popette" decided that she wanted a "Princess Ariel" cake, so that made Mummy happy :)

She had a great morning opening presents, then being taken to Build-A-Bear by Mummy & Daddy, who bought her a Minnie Mouse, who now has the same birthday as her! So exciting!! Minnie has become her BFF, and travels with her everywhere, even to daycare today!

I hope you've all had a great Christmas/New Year's, and have had a chance to take a break.

My new year's resolutions this year include spending less time on the computer (so less blogging/facebooking) and more time playing with girls, which means I may not take up the "52 weeks of grateful" challenge this year.

Another resolution is to get healthy & lose weight, so gym here I come!! Hubby & I are starting the CSIRO diet after a friend tolds us how much weight she lost, so hopefully I won't have too many cravings!

What are your new year's resolutions?