27 June 2014

Six facts {for the naive person} on becoming a new parent

I love catching up with my girlfriends. Its nice to get out of the house, and to have some time away from my little family and talk about other things then just kids. Last Saturday I caught up with two girlfriends in the city. It was a beautiful sunny winter's day, and Sydney Harbour was glistening. It was the perfect day for sitting outside in the sunshine and watching the boats on the water while we ate our lunch.


We chatted about what each other had been doing, talked about people we knew, about how much we were starting to dislike Facebook (although it is good for staying in touch with friends overseas) work (them), the girls (me) and holiday plans.

During one conversation, one friend talked about one of her "mum friends" remarking that "its not like she does anything all day". This comment upset me a little. It made me think "does she think the same thing about me?" I wonder what she thinks I do all day, continually check my Facebook newsfeed?

I can remember back to when my brothers had children, and how my husband and I weren't ready to have children, and we would say something (without thinking) just like my friend. How naive we both were!

I could give her a long list of things I do each and every day, but I let it go and didn't say anything. What was the point of starting an argument. I just hope that one day she gets to experience the joy of having children!

But for those people who don't know what its like to be a parent of a newborn, here's six facts you should know.

Fact #1: You will be tired - Having a baby is the most beautiful experience a couple can go through together. And the most exhausting! There will be times when you won't feel like calling or talking to someone after 7pm. Some nights all you will want to do is veg out on the lounge and watch the latest recording of a show you like to watch.

Fact #2: It can be hard - Having a baby turns your life upside down. It changes your life completely. Some days it can be hard. Imagine being home with a sick bubba who cries each time you try to put her down for a nap, or only wants you to rock her to sleep or has bad reflux and cries for hours. It is horrible hearing a baby cry for hours, especially in the early hours of the morning when you are tired and haven't had enough any sleep. If you don't have a spouse or partner to take over for you, or the support of close family and friends to help out, it can be even harder.

Fact #3: Things will be different for a while When you have a newborn in the house, you won't always have time to take a shower before lunchtime or read a book. There will be days when you finally get your little one down for a nap, and all you want to do is a) pass out on the lounge from exhaustion, b) take a shower or c) enjoy a hot cup of coffee. There will be days when you are lonely, and crave someone to talk to so you will check your Facebook newsfeed to see what your friends are up to.

Fact #4: Keeping up with your old social life - Catching up with friends for Friday night drinks will no longer be your top priority. Yes its nice to stay in touch with friends, but going out will become a luxury and something you will have to plan well in advance. Unless you have family or friends to look after your little one, you may find going out only happens once in a blue moon. Your new best friend will be the guy down at the DVD store who you see on a regular basis.

Fact #5: Baby talk - When you have a baby, all you talk about is the baby. You are so proud of your sweet little bubba, that you can't stop showing photos or talking about them. It gets to the point that your Facebook friends have blocked your status updates as they are getting tired of your sharenting. Try not to judge your new Mumma friends. They are in baby bliss (ie. think of a married couple still in the honeymoon period) and have probably forgotten (blame it on baby brain, yes, there is a thing. Google it.) that there are other topics to talk about.

Fact #6: ABC4Kids is your friend A good friend of mine once made a narky remark about how I let my television "babysit" my daughter. Of course this was before she had a baby. Now she has a 2 year old, who loves watching ABC4Kids. Some people don't understand what its like entertaining a child all day long. There will be moments when you want to take a shower, hang out a load of washing, make an important phone call or just want 10 minutes to yourself. While turning the television on and having it 'entertain' your child isn't the best thing to do, it certainly helps when you need to get things done.

Do you have a fact that you would add to this list? What would your advice to someone who has no idea what a parent does be?

17 June 2014

Kids craft: Dinosaur masks

Our sweet little Cherub is obsessed with dinosaurs. She affectionately calls them "roar" which is just so cute, and loves playing with her assortment of plastic dinosaurs on the floor, in the sandpit....anywhere really.

She is always drawing pictures of dinosaur eggs (I have to draw the dinosaurs), looking at dinosaur books or hiring DVDs from the library.

One of her favourite things to do is visit the dinosaurs at the Australian Museum.

Cherub & Popette at the Australian Museum

One day I thought I'd make Cherub a dinosaur mask for herself and Popette to play with. Now there's not a great deal of skill involved with this little project. Its very easy.

If you can't draw a dinosaur face by hand, you could download a picture of one from the 'net, enlarge it, then print it out.

I sketched a couple of different dinosaur faces, Popette's a T-Rex, and Cherub's a Triceratops, then got the girls to colour them. Cherub chose to paint hers.

Cherub painting her mask

A very scary Popette-a-saurus

All you need is:
  • a piece of cardboard or thick paper
  • watercolour paints (or textas, crayons, coloured pencils)
  • paint brush
  • water
  • string
  • scissors
Suitable age group: 2.5 - 5yrs
Estimated time: 10-15 mins (if Mum or Dad helps cut out the masks)
Messiness factor: medium (remember to use watercolour paints, which is easy to wash off little hands)

13 June 2014

Recipe: Leftover Roast Lamb pie

I love roast dinners, they are my absolute favourite. So when Hubby came home last Friday with a large leg of lamb and said we were having a roast this week I got very excited!

The roast dinner was delicious, but we still had plenty of lamb leftover which made think of what sort of dishes we could have. With the cold weather we've been having here I thought a pie would be the bomb! I don't normally share recipes, but because this pie was so delicious I thought I'd share it with you.

Note:- I have adapted this recipe from taste.com.au's Very Useful Winter book found in my bookcase!

Not the best photo (can you tell I'm not a foodie blogger),
but gee it was a fab pie!

Leftover Roast Lamb pie


1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 kg of left-over roast lamb
1 small onion, sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 medium sized golden delight potatoes, cubed
2 carrots, peeled & cubed
1/2 cup tomato paste
3 cups (750ml) beef stock
Approx. 150 ml dry sherry (Hubby poured it!)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 sheets puff pastry, partially thawed
1 egg lightly beaten

Since the lamb had already been cooked (to perfection I might add), all I did was warm it up in a saucepan with a little olive oil (half of the lamb at a time) so it became a little caramelized and added flavour to the pan, so when it came time to make the sauce it had that yummy lamb flavour.

Once heated through transfer to plate.

Brown onions and garlic until onions are soft and translucent then remove from pan.

Add potatoes and carrots to pan, cook until they start to soften and brown, then transfer to plate with other cooked ingredients.

Next step is to deglaze the pan with the sherry, once it starts bubbling add the stock and place all the cooked ingredients back into the pan along with the tomato paste.


Stir well and bring to the boil. Place lid on saucepan and let simmer for an hour (if you have more lamb you might need to cook longer). Stirring occasionally*.

Stir in rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.

*If the lamb mixture hasn't thickened, you might want to add 2 tablespoons of cornflour with 2 tablespoons of warm water to thicken the mixture.

Meanwhile preheat oven - 200C/180C fan-forced, and grease a 3cm-deep, 20cm base pie dish.

Line base & sides with a sheet of puff pastry trimming the excess.

The cooked ingredients added to the pie dish

Spoon ingredients into pie dish, then cover with remaining piece of puff pastry. Press edges together, then gently prick top with a fork.

Brush with a lightly beaten egg.

Note: if you have the time you might want to allow the cooked ingredients to cool down before placing into the pie dish to avoid a soggy bottom like ours! (pie that is!)

Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Set aside to cool.

(The photo's do not do this pie justice, it was delicious. Our pastry could have had a little longer in the oven, but had to come out early to feed a hungry Popette before going to bed!)

11 June 2014

Let's go to the Zoo...

Over the long weekend we went on an adventure to Taronga Zoo. I'm so grateful it didn't rain the whole entire time we were there. It turned out to be a beautiful sunny winters day (even though it was freezing cold) which we all enjoyed.

Some of the favourites included the giraffes, elephants, meerkats, tigers, chimps and the seal show.

I love the view of the city from the Zoo

The girls were just a teeny weeny bit excited about seeing the animals, so I couldn't get them to stand still long enough for me to snap off a nice photo.

On the back of the tractor

Of course when I asked Popette to smile, she would do something like this...

My little monkey

In the end, I just snapped off some nice casual pics of them enjoying their day.

Just a little excited
My two little meerkats

Meeting a guinea pig
Cherub & I on the Sky Safari

04 June 2014

What blogging means to me

For 3 and a bit years I've been blogging. Its been a place where I can share my thoughts or feelings. Record my joys of being a Mum, or tell someone about something crafty I made with the kids and know that they'll enjoy it too.

Its been a place for me to record moments of gratitude, let off steam, as well as dream....about my future, about my girl's future.

I began the blog for myself, but over time its formed a little following, so when a reader tells me that they've enjoyed a post it means a lot.

My hope is that one day my girls will read the blog, and begin to understand what their Mumma was thinking at the time of writing a post or discover what it was like for me when I was home with them, and maybe they'll learn a little about me as a person not just as their Mumma.

If you are a blogger - Why do you blog? Is it for yourself? Was the blog created for your children so they can read it when they are older, or is it used as an income?