24 September 2013

A letter to Cherub for her 2nd birthday

To my little Cherub,

Happy Birthday!

You are now 2 years old and officially a toddler (as much as I hate to say it). The past 2 years have gone by way too fast, I wish time would stop so I could enjoy you as my little bubba for a while longer. You have been such a sweet sweet bubba, and now, my cheeky little monkey.

What better way to spend your birthday then with Daddy taking the day off work and the four of us spending the day at the beach. It was a lovely day.

You loved sitting on the sand with Daddy building sandcastles, and having a little splash in the water.

Your big sister was happy to splash in the water with Mummy, and make sandcastles alongside of you.


It was a beautiful sunny Spring day. A perfect day for a birthday.

We enjoyed some fish & chips for lunch, then back for more play in the water and sand.

Then to finish our day we ate ice creams by the beach, before making our way home.

You had a lovely day. Too excited to sleep on the way home. You enjoyed the trip through the tunnel and chatting (screeching) along with your sister.

We had held a little party for you on the weekend with family which you also loved, you're a very lucky girl and loved very much.

Please don't grow up too fast, Mumma wants you to stay her little girl for just a little longer.

Love your Mumma

20 September 2013

Being grateful: To my readers

This week I am grateful to the readers who have joined my little community on the blog and over at the Facebook page, as well as other followers who pop in from time to time.

While this blog was originally setup as a way for me to record my feelings, thoughts and moments as a Mummy, it's now become somewhere where I can interract with other parents and feel as though I'm not alone on this Mummy journey. It's also become a place where I can share craft ideas and record moments of gratitude.

I can't believe the blog is now in its 3rd year, its gone by so fast.

So thank you to all of you have commented, liked, shared or just taken the time to read a post. :)

What are you grateful for?

I am linking up with Octavia & Vicky for 52 weeks of grateful.

17 September 2013

Off to the park's 3rd blogoversary!!!

Yesterday I was doing some maintenance work as well as freshening up the blog's appearance (what do you think?), when I noticed my blog had celebrated it's third blogoversary without me! I knew it was creeping up, but can't believe I missed it!

One of my illustrations

I am quite pleased with how far I've come, not only with the blog, but with my writing.

When I started over 3 years ago, I didn't give much thought to who would be reading the blog, mostly I was doing it for myself as a hobby, and using it as a creative outlet to record my thoughts and journey as a parent.

But over time its also became a place where readers can come and find fun things to make out of craft (something we love to do here), record my dreams and feelings of gratitude.

I am grateful to the readers who have joined my little community, and to other followers who pop in from time to time and leave their comments.

If you are a first-time visitor to my blog or a follower that visits regularly, thank you for taking the time to visit Off to the Park. I hope you will come back and visit me soon :)

To celebrate my 3rd blogoversary, I thought I'd share some of my favourite posts with you here.

10 ways to be happy & find gratefulness in the (little) day-to-day things & printable

30 things I love about myself

A mother's pride

My "big girl"

A Mumma's letter to her girls

09 September 2013

Photos and privacy - how much control do we really have on Facebook

Did you know that Cover photos on Facebook are made Public, and cannot be changed? Over the weekend I found a huge amount of my personal photo's, along with some status updates were shared as "Public". I didn't realise this at the time, and think it's because of how they were published through my old mobile phone's FB app which didn't have the audience selector option, meaning anyone on Facebook could see these photos.

Posting photos on Facebook has become a bit of an issue in my household lately. Hubby has been a little uncomfortable about who I've been sharing photo's of our girls (mostly friends on my personal page, and the odd photo on my blog's FB page), and who should and shouldn't be allowed to share our photo's.

Facebook says that you can change the privacy setting for albums such as Mobile uploads, Timeline photos and albums created through other applications such as Instagram.

On my blog's Facebook page, the "Timeline photos" folder tells me that I can change the audience for each photo in this album, but for some reason it doesn't let me. I have lodged a form with Facebook asking them how I can fix this up.

To be a little more vigilant with what photos I publish on Facebook, I have decided to remove some of the older photo's of my girls since I can't change the privacy setting or hide them from my timeline. I'm not sure if its because they are published on a fan page, rather than a personal page?

But it begs the question how much control do we have over the privacy of our photos.

Can people who aren't "Likers" of a blog's Facebook page still see the content and photo's posted?

Well I did a little research (created an anonymous FB account) and found that, yes you can see all the content including the photos, even if you haven't "Liked" the page.

I think I should be allowed to change the privacy settings so only the people who have "Liked" my page can see the content & photos. I also believe we should be able to change photos that are shared as Public to Private or Friends only.

Has anyone had issues with changing the privacy settings on their blog's Facebook page? Love to hear your thoughts, and what you did to change it.

06 September 2013

Being grateful: Holidays

This week I am being grateful for holidays. There are days when I reminisce about holidays my husband & I went on before we had our girls.

We had adventures overseas and within Australia. Some big, some small. Some over a few weeks and others a few days.

While we were fortunate to travel, we both worked hard in saving our money so we could go on these holidays.

I am grateful for the wonderful memories we have of all the places we have visited together. One of my most favourite memories is of spending 3 weeks in Paris for our 10th wedding anniversary seven years ago.

J'adore Paris!
Whenever our girls come in to our bedroom they love to stand on our bed and look at our montage of Paris photo's we have hanging behind our bedhead, pointing to the different parisian scenes.

It's been nearly a year since our last family holiday to the beach. The girls have been craving the beach, so have I. Hubby & I have been discussing a little family getaway for later in the year, it would be lovely if we can spend a week away from our house. Away from Sydney, and to be by the water enjoying the sand between our toes and watching the girls play in the water.

What are you grateful for?

02 September 2013

Is she ready for "big school"

I found this great post via a feed on Facebook the other day, which talked about "What should a 4 year old know". It came just at the right time for me, I've been stressing so much about Popette starting (or not starting) kindy next year, that I've forgotten she's only 4 (+9mths) and still learning (as she likes to tell me!).

I've been thinking (stressing) about things like...
  • will she be able to cope with going to the toilet on her own (some days she'll ask one of us to go with her),
  • will she be okay at school drop-off - she had terrible anxiety problems at the beginning of the year
  • whether she's going to have the concentration, and can be quiet when the teachers talk (she talks non-stop!),
  • will she be able to manage her lunch box, opening her sandwiches etc.
  • whether she'll be able to remember her full name & address,
  • "stranger danger" (she needs to know, but I don't want to scare her to death!)
  • whether she'll be able to remember her hat, lunch box, raincoat etc and put them in her bag.
Even little things like will she be able to use scissors, write her name, raise her hand & ask the teacher a question....I'm sure I'm like any mother who is new to a child starting school? Right? Just a few nerves. Nothing to worry about. Right? (This is where you chime in, "She'll be fine, don't stress. Everything is going to be alright!")

I had a chat to her daycare teacher last week, who told me she had no concerns about Popette starting kindergarten next year, and said that she'd be fine.

I guess that's great news.....but as any mother that's new to a child starting kindy, I'm feeling a little apprehensive. Hubby of course, has no issues and is quite happy for her to start school next year.

Whenever I say to someone that I've been wondering whether to hold Popette back, he will pipe up that it's only me and not him!

Popette's photo taken at daycare

Of course Popette can't wait to go to "big school". The other day she said to me, "Mumma can I go to big school now and not go to preschool anymore". What happened to my tiny little Popette. My sweet baby girl. I can't believe she will be 5 in January. It doesn't seem that long ago, that she was my tiny sweet, precious baby girl laying in the humidicrib at hospital.

I'm going to miss having her around at home. While she can drive me crazy, she has been a delight as well. We've had so much fun making "something special", or making craft or painting. Going to music class, catching up with friends, going to the library or park. It'll be strange with just Cherub at home. While I adore Cherub, I think I'll be a little lost without Popette by my side. Suggesting things for us to do, or saying "I know what we can do Mum" or "Mumma let's make something special for Daddy".

Who was more nervous when your child started school, you or them?