Friday, December 30

Things I Know About 2011

I know that I found
this photo here
Without a doubt the first thing that I know this week is that I can not believe the end of the year is already upon us.  It feels like only yesterday I was sitting here planning for 2011 to be the year my life came into fruition.  Or rather The Year of Trying.

I know  that on many different levels I can honestly say I tried this year.  Well I tried more than I have in previous years and at the end of the day that is all that really matters.  I know that as long as you try harder than last time and are prepared to try even harder next time, in the end you will succeed.  It is just a matter of sticking out to the end.

I know that when I look back at the post for January they seem a bit disjointed.  That is because (as I finally remembered, after much head scratching) that it was back in January that I actually started APL and sometime in the year I stupidly merged a heap of old posts from an old blog or two.  If I recall it was all about numbers and for some reason I wanted to appear as if I had lots of posts.  Ironically I am currently thinking of reinstating an old project (blog) called My Fairy Garden...

I know that when I went to read through the highlights from February I was a little disappointed.  Partly because there were only six posts to read and partly because of the spelling error I came across in the second paragraph.  It is interesting to look back though.

I know that I think it is incredibly cool to have somehow written 23 posts in the month of March.  it just so happens that March is my birth month and 23 the day :) (feel free to write in diary and send card)

I know that in terms of blogging April was a great month.  Really great.  Or at least in my eyes it was.  I thought that I was so great I applied for a mummy blogging position.  I know now that really I was way to inexperienced at the time to attract the market needed.  I know that at the the time I took it pretty badly.  This can be seen in the sudden decline of posts in June and July.  Well that and the fact it is a very busy time of year here.  Perfect weather for outback adventures

I know  that May didn't really deserve to be skipped over just then.  After all twas in May I managed to post for eight days straight. I know, go me right?

I know that August is the month that holds the total for the most posts all year.  That's right 31 wonderfully written entries.  One for each day.  Only I am pretty sure that some actually came out on the one day, not that it really matters.  If I had to pick a favourite though it would probably be this WW post.  Without tooting my own horn they really are awesome photos.

I know that if it wasn't for the likes of Wordless Wednesday, Thankful Thursday and Things I Know Friday, the months of September, and October would have been pretty bleak in terms of posts.  I know that I am very thankful for such kind hosts as it is only because of joining in with such linkys that I have any sort of a readership.


I know that Christmas can be a great topic to blog about.  Thanks to Christmas November and December had a few great posts in them.  I know however that I didn't really take full advantage of the blogging possibilities of the festive season.  Maybe next year?

I know that I really enjoyed looking back over all these old posts.
I know that putting in all those links was a bit of a pain.  Please go and read them.  Or at least one or two of them.
I know that I really wanted to include something about Me & YOU but couldn't work out how to fit it in.  I know  that next year Me & YOU is going to play a pivotal role in my life.


And the final things I know for 2011 are that I have loved having come along for the ride that is my life.  I hope that you will all join me for bigger and better things in 2012, which I believe may be known as the Year to Make it Matter.  Or something like that.  I am still working on the details so stay tuned.


I know there is something great round the corner if I just keep trying.

I also know that TIK is over at 

with Kellie.  
You should drop over and see what others know as well.


Ok I promise this is it.  I know lots of others do this so I am going to give it a go and Flog My Blog

FYBF

Thursday, December 29

Thankful Thursday - The last for the year

If I was the super organised person that I sometimes dream of being my thankful post for this week would actually have been written last Friday.  Come to think of it if I was that person lots of things would go differently in life.  But alas I am not, I am me, in all my disorganised glory.

So what could possibly have happened late last week for me to already know what I am thankful for this week?

Well in a nutshell I made a monumental mistake.  Though when I shared the error of my ways on Twitter I actually used the f word.  I know.  I couldn't believe I did it either.  While I may swear like a trooper with the best of them at times in the real world, I shudder at using such language when writing.  Someone once said to me that those who use foul language do so because they lack the eloquence to express themselves any other way.   Now while I can see there is a time and a place for everything for me swearing should be saved for special occasions (so to speak) and for me rarely will the written word (in any form) include swearing.

Moving right along now though as this has little to nothing to do with being thankful other than showing just how upset I was last week when I made my mistake.  I still haven't actually posted how I did what I did but I did briefly touch on it when I shared what knew about cars on Friday.

So on Friday as I stood around watching a long time family friend of my father's fix the error of my ways,

I mentally wrote today's post.  After all I had so much to be thankful for.  I was thankful I realised my stupidity before I started the car.  I was thankful that there was a lovely man behind me waiting for my bowser so he was able to help me push it.  I was even thankful that other people had done the same (apparently three in the last 24 hours according to the console operator).  For a brief moment I was even glad my father was not around to see what I had done.  (Mind you as I type this now I would give anything to have him here).  I was thankful for the help given as well as the fact no one had broken into my car while it was left at the service station overnight.  When it all happened I was also thankful for the nearby pub to wait at.  And finally I was thankful that by some grace of God I actually had a spare or rather available cash to cover the costs of my stupidity.

I was certain that it would be one of the best thankful posts I had ever written.  The best part was I would have it written well in advance.  For which I would be super thankful for come today.

Only the post never got written.  In all the excitement that was Christmas, Christmas Eve and the eve of Christmas Eve I just never managed to squeeze it in.  I was too busy enjoy this wonderful time with my precious family.  For that I am beyond thankful for.  Even though this Christmas was spent with as many family members as I would have liked I still had a lovely time.

Yesterday hubs returned to work and the girls and I set out on being active.  Rather than wait for the new year to start I am trying to get cracking on things I want to change now.  I still had planned to write a thankful post about the car incident, though when I realised (thanks to Kate's tweet) that this would be the last TT for the year I wanted to make it a bit special.  I had thought a recap of my TT posts would perhaps be fitting.  There have after all been some awesome ones.  Only my active levels during the day were slightly excessive and saw me in bed and fast asleep at an unusually early hour.  I was very thankful for that this morning though when I woke up feeling fresher than a daisy.

So here we are, half way through Thursday and still waiting to hit the publish button.  There really is so much that I want to give thanks for that I don't really know where to begin.  I am super thankful though that all those months ago I came across the wonderful blog that is Kate Says Stuff.  Taking time out each week to think of what it is I am most thankful for is a wonderful idea.  I am also thankful for Alicia who has a 365 Moments of Gratitude Project which she shares on FB.  Not only is she one of the few people to ever click like on APL's FB page but she has helped me (mostly unknowingly) gain a wonderful perspective on many aspects of life that I have struggled with at times.  Reading her updates on what she finds to be thankful for each and every day is a great way to remind myself just how much I too have to be thankful for.

Now as a rule I am not one for long posts, and that applies to both writing and reading.  As much as I love to ramble I know something different is only a click away for those with a short attention span.  Which means this post should be coming to an end.  

If you are still reading then for that I am thankful.  In fact even if you only skim read half of it I am still thankful.  Actually just for stopping by regardless of how long that may be for I am thankful for.

How about you?  What are thankful for this week or even this year?


Make sure you drop by Kate's and see what everyone else is thankful for today.

Wednesday, December 28

Words for Wordless Wednesday

Now I know that words for a WW post may be a little crazy bit what can I say? I am at times, if nothing else, just a little on the crazy side.

Deciding to make the most of the last public holiday for Christmas we headed to the city for the day. Even though the city may only be a mere fifteen minute drive away, we do not really venture there very often.  Today we had a some errands to run that involved shops only found in the city so decided it made the perfect excuse to venture in that direction and hang out at the gorgeous new (well newish at two, nearly three years old now but to long term locals that is new).

The plan was to park the car, go for walk into the mall, have some lunch, go for a swim and head home for a relaxing afternoon.  For the most part everything went according to plan. Unfortunately though both shops we needed to go to in the mall were closed but we had such a lovely time wandering around that it didn't matter. The water for swimming was cool and refreshing despite being a little smelly. I guess that is only to be expected though when man goes around changing coastlines and such. The recent heavy rains may also be slightly to blame for the stinky swampy smell.

While I love the novelty of being able to blog from my phone it is not all it is cracked up to be.  The screen is so incredibly small and being the awesome computer geek that I am (not really but could be) I am a touch typer.  Which makes reverting to two finger typing on the phone more than a little tricky.  Since we are heading to the real big smoke in a few weeks, I thought that I should see whether phone blogging was possible.  That way I could keep you all updated on my fun and adventures. (I can hear the sigh of relief from here).

The uploading of photos is great, especially the Instagram ones.  Sadly though that is about the only positive I have seen so far and since I prefer to take photos with my camera...

But I digress.

Back to the photos for WW.

They aren't really all that exciting now that I look at them again.  Last night when I posted them I was sure they were incredibly arty and appealing.  The other downside to a small screen size I guess.  Can't win them all I guess.  We did have a really lovely day though.  It was nice just getting out and being in the fresh air.  The cloud coverage is still quite thick which while makes the UV rating higher does take the edge off the sun and cools things down a little.

Hubs and I don't really venture out all that often so it was quite novel to sit at a coffee shop (that served alcohol) while the little ones ran around the large grassy area nearby.  It almost felt like we were proper people and not just parents.  Of course this feeling was quickly replaced when DD3 fell over and screamed only when the strangers tried to pick her up.  Just another step closer to Mother of the Year for me.

For now though I must bid you all adieu.  In preparation for my New Years resolutions I am trying to be a little more active.  I have a heap of posts floating around my head so hopefully I will be able to get them out sooner rather than later.  Make sure you are following along (plenty of options to choose from see side bar for more details)

Oh and one last thing...have you entered my giveaway yet?

Tuesday, December 27

Sunday, December 25

And So This Is Christmas

Another year over, and new one to begin. Or something like that. If I weren't typing from my phone I would possibly embed a You Tube clip of the song but oh well.

Christmas day is all but over which comes with some relief I must admit. As much as I love this time of year it is also incredibly tiring. I am feeling particularly drained because just as I was getting ready for bed last night I got a visit from the red dragon. Which is good in many ways, even if right now I wish it would leave me alone. I had actually just started to think that perhaps I would be spared this month which is far from what I really want. I mean that I would love to escape a visit but not at the cost of being pregnant. As much as I love the notion of more children I am fairly sure the practise wouldn't play out as well.

We are still unsure what the cyclone is doing though it does appear as if we will once again escape unscathed by mother nature's wrath. Which is good. She has been one angry lady this year and I would much rather stay in her good books.

Well this is enough of a post to hit publish now without being heartbroken if it doesn't work. I hope wherever you are and whatever you believe, that today has in every way been a more than special day.

Fairy wishes, butterfly kisses and Merry Christmas

Friday, December 23

Things I Know About Cars

Now before you turn away thinking this is just another review of the wonderful franchise that is Cars. Don't worry it's not. This week I am going to share with you the things I know about actual cars. As in the things we drive on the road. With specific reference to the things I know about my car and our recent trip to the service station.

I know that Patty the Patrol is by far and away my favourite vehicle to ever have owned. Claude the Corolla is in some ways a very close second because it was my first ever car but due to the fact the Patty has air con, is a 4WD and has a very cool number plate he wins.

Patty the Patrol in all his glory when we went on our Outback Adventure
I know that Patty is a diesel vehicle.  Not unleaded petrol.  I have known this for over two years now.

I know that with the possible threat of a cyclone looming, not to mention Christmas, filling Patty up seemed like a good idea.

I know that I could come up with a heap of reasons as to why I had such a moment of stupidity that saw me potentially cause Patty some serious damage. None of the reasons really matter though. It still happened.

I know that upon lifting the nozzle out of the bowser and noticing there was no extra catch to lift up I should have started paying more attention to things.

I know that I am super glad I was able to find someone to help me push my big heavy car so I didn't have to start it. (which may potentially have saved us thousands of dollars)

I know I am super super thankful that I have someone who will be able to help me fix this near on catastrophe. (again potential savings here is massive)

I know that while I hold not going to my regular service station as one of the many reasons as to why this happened, there is a part of me that is glad of where we were. The service station where the terrible deed occurred was only meters away from a family friendly sports club with a liquor license.

I know that drinking is not the way to solve one's problems but having a quick rum while I waited for hubs to pick us up made it all a little easier to deal with.

I know that when the consol operater told me that I was the third person in twenty four hours to have put petrol, rather than diesel into their car I was not exactly comforted. Though I can find some comfort in the thought now.

I know that in the end everything will be ok. And really there is no point beating myself up. I was not the first persons to do this and I will not be the last. I know that I still feel like a right twat though.

I know that the final thing I know this eve of Christmas Eve is that I am super excited to be linking up today as TIK takes up it's new residency with Kellie at The Good, The Bad and The Unnecessary.




Oh and did you know I have a giveaway on at the moment? 
Head here to find out more

Thursday, December 22

Thankful Thursday - Christmas Edition

Given that we are now only days out from the big day I thought that this Thursday I would share some of the things that I am thankful for at this time of year.

Like many people Christmas is one of my favourtie times of the year.  I pretty much love everything about it, always have, but then I have always been lucky enough to spend Christmas with loving family and friends.  For that I am more than thankful.

Here are a few of the other things that make me thankful at this time of year.

The public holidays.  Hubs can't always get time off over the festive season.  Thanks to the public holidays we still get to have time together without it cutting into his leave.

The gift of giving.  We all know it is better to give than receive but Christmas is the one time where there is a united front on this.  I love that there is such a push to think of others less fortunate than ourselves.  I am thankful that there are so many wonderful agencies and people who go to so much effort to ensure that others have the best Christmas they can.  Or at least a slightly better one than what they expected.

Children.  Having children around at Christmas really makes it just that little bit more special.  I am thankful I have such wonderful children to share the day with.  The looks on their faces as they see the goodies that Santa has left is just priceless.

Lights.  I love Christmas lights.  I love their twinkles and the magical feeling they create.  I am thankful to each and every person who has gone to the trouble of putting lights up around their house.

Good food.  There are a whole range of foods that I only eat at Christmas.  Like ham with cranberry sauce.  Sure I eat ham the whole year through but at Christmas time I add the cranberry sauce and OMG yum, yum, yum.  This is possibly also aided by the fact that the ham is carved straight of the bone after being beautifully glazed.  Chocolate sultanas, rum balls, mince pies, oh and the fruit.  Peaches, plums, apricots and cherries.  I am thankful to be able to have all of these in excess and be ok about it because after all it is Christmas.

What are you thankful for?  Head on over to Kate Says Stuff and see what others are thankful for today.

Wednesday, December 21

Tuesday, December 20

I don't want to. And I hate that I have to.

Given the time I should be sleeping.  Actually to be more precise I should have been sleeping hours ago.  But I just can't.  My body doesn't want to stop yet.  Or perhaps it is more like the mind does not want me to stop yet.  

You see if I give in and go to sleep then it means when I wake it is time to take DD1 to the airport.  And I don't want to.  The thought of being without her for four weeks does not thrill me.  At all.  Not in the slightest.

I know though that sleep is not that far away.  I can't fight it much longer.  Especially when I am meant to be getting up in less than four hours.  Bleh.  Did I mention I don't want to?

I wish I could stamp my feet and carry on and not put her on the plane.  But that is not what a good mum does.  Well that is what I have been told anyway.  Besides she really wants to go.  

Who wouldn't though?  Getting away is nice even when you are a kid.  Plus she has been before, she knows the fun that lays ahead of her.

Slip, Slop, Slap, Snap. Bananas in Pyjamas Review & Give Away

Yep you read right!  Review and giveaway.  When I received the email telling me I was one of ten bloggers selected to share the thoughts on the latest apps released from ABC for Kids I was excited.  Specifically I was excited to be doing my first official review. And not just any old review, one that came with a give away as well.  I tell ya I felt like I had hit the jack pot.

The best part of it all was that the two apps in question were ones I was pretty sure at least two of the three girls would enjoy.

Within hours of the apps being available for download I had the iPad out and was ready to give them a whirl.  I was slightly disappointed that apparently my somewhat ancient 3G iPhone was not compatible with the apps but since I was able to still try them on the iPad it was not that much of a big deal.

Now I am not exactly sure how it happened but before I knew it DDs 2 & 3 had ripped the pad out my hands and where giving both apps a go.  DD2 who turned 5 in June had no problems quickly working out how to squeeze the cream out of the bottle and then rubbing it in.  Within ten minutes she had successfully worked out both apps and was handing the pad over so DD3 (20 months) could have a turn.

According to DD2 her favourite of the two was the Say Cheese camera app.  She just loves taking photos and the fact that she could then decorate said photos is even more appealing

 

There are over ten different frames to choose from, with all the Cuddletown favourites to be found in a variety of settings.  For the super creative parent you could take a photo of your cherub with a Christmas themed border (there are two to choose from) and then send as a message to your nearest and dearest.

Alternatively photos can also be selected from the existing camera roll.  This was explained to me by DD2 as I questioned how the photos above were done.  Needless to say it is a very user friendly app and super appealing to it's target market of 2-5 year olds.  Even though DD3 is still not two she was also able to work it out, though she did need a little assistance at times.

For me I loved that there were so many choices of frames and stickers to use.  Plus it is possible to adjust the size of the stickers.  Although I didn't like the way once the sticker was down it could not actually be moved again.  Being a slight perfectionist at times I would have liked to be able to have a few goes at getting hats right on the head and so forth.  (I should possibly say that it was perhaps my inaptitude here as unlike the children I at times struggle with these new fandangled technologies at times)

The other thing that I really loved was the way that photos were automatically saved to the camera roll photos so you don't miss a single shot of your child's awesomeness.

The second app was called Beach Fun The main idea behind this app is to encourage children to slip, slop, slap in the summer fun.  Children get to squirt suncream over the Bananas faces.  When I say squirt I actually mean lather.  It feels like the whole bottle of cream is used before the Bananas feel they have enough.  The squirting sound which comes as with the end of the bottle provided endless giggles. Once the squirting of the cream is complete it then needs to be rubbed in for which the Bananas thank you for.  Next it is time for hats and sunglasses.

Now without being a bit of a stick in the mud I did have a slight problem here.  There were two of the six hats that really offered no sun protection at all.  I understand that it is just a game and they were very funky hats and would appeal to children but since one of the main ideas behind the app is to encourage sun safety I felt it was a bit of a mixed message.  The same could be said about a few of the sunglasses. I am sure that is just the boring mummy part in me though.

After getting the Bananas ready for the beach it is building sandcastle time!  Here you get to choose from a few different coloured and shaped buckets which you then remove and are left with a sandcastle to decorate.  As you place certain objects on the castle the Bananas call out what is being placed.  Great for colour and shape recognition for the little ones.  The Bananas also offer great encouragement along the way.

Once the castle is complete it is demolition time.  At the end of which there is a loud cheer.  Again the boring mother in me came out as I am against sand castle demolition and would much rather have been able to take a photo of my work of art.  Mind you at the same time I would hate my camera roll to be full of such things. (I guess there is just no pleasing some people)

All in all though from a child perspective it is great.  Both the girls just loved it and this one DD3 can use all by herself without any help from anyone.  So that definitely is a big plus at times.

Now here comes the tricky part.  You see personally if I had of paid for these apps I would be disappointed.  Not hugely disappointed but disappointed nonetheless.  I really didn't want my first official review to be one where I was not able to completely rave about.

At $2.99 (Say Cheese) and $1.99 (Beach Fun) they are not exactly going to break your iTunes account but to be honest I am rather tight when it comes to iTunes purchases and I would feel a little ripped off for these purchases had they not been complimentary.  As free apps they are awesome.  As ones that you pay for...not so awesome.  I am sort of comfortable with paying for the camera app as I can't see the kidlets tire of that one but for Beach Fun I can't help but wonder if the novelty of it all might wear off in the not to distant future.

I guess having already experienced some of the free apps that ABC has previously released (and totally loved them) I may have had too higher expectations for apps that involved money.  However the children really do love them so perhaps that is all that matters.

Both apps are available to download now from iTunes.  Direct links can be found here for Say Cheese and here for Beach Fun.

Now to the really fun part.  The Giveaway.  The awesome peeps over at ABC for Kids and Digital Parents have given me one copy of Bananas in Pyjamas "The Magic Trick" DVD to giveaway to my equally awesome readers.

So get your thinking caps on and in 25 words or less tell me what it is you love most about summer.  Entries are open until  Midnight December 30 2011.  With the winner announced December 31 2011 after being selected by yours truly.  Judges decision is final.

I can't offer extra entries for tweets but share the love and tweet away anyway.

Oh and I can't forget to mention that I am linking up with

 for 
 
I know two buttons for the one place might be seen by some as unnecessary 
but can I remind you just how much I love buttons. 
 Especially super cool buttons like these, how could I possibly be expected to choose between the two?




Disclosure: I received complimentary downloads of the Bananas in Pyjamas iPhone apps and a giveaway copy of Bananas in Pyjamas "The Magic Trick" DVD courtesy of ABC for Kids via Digital Parents. No financial payment was offered nor accepted for this post. All opinions expressed are purely my own.


Monday, December 19

Each Day Is A New Beginning

That is what I tell myself on a very regular basis.  Part of me thinks on a too regular basis, but then another part of me says that is a good thing.  After all it is a true and important reminder.  Each day is a new beginning.  A chance to start again.  To Learn from the mistakes of yesterday.  To once again put your best foot forward and head towards what it is you are after.

So why would I worry that I tell myself on a too regular basis that each day is a new beginning?  How could I possible feel that starting each day with a fresh ray of hope is not the best thought to adopt?

Easily.

You see if I have had to tell myself not to worry about something and I can just try again another time, well then that means I have made a mistake.  Something has gone pear shaped and I am no longer heading in the right direction.  While it is lovely (I guess) to have the optimistic outlook of there is always another chance the cold hard reality of all is that eventually the time will come when there are no more chances.  There is not always a second round and more often than not no redraws.  So while each day is a new beginning, it may not necessarily be one that comes with all the opportunity that today may hold.

Last week I came up with 8 things I wanted to do.  Even as I was writing the list I wondered how much of it was feasible.  There was one that I just knew wouldn't happen but I wanted to include it anyway.  I had hoped that this would push me into action.  It didn't really.  However I have been thinking very hard about it all week long and it is something I really want to do so I guess there is still hope I may one day end up with some crochet stars.

There was one that I knew was somewhat out of my control so including it was like a silent little wish.  Yep I am talking about the sleep one in particular here.  Oh and the not being sick.  There was a slight improvement in the sleep department but not nearly enough.  I can't help but wonder when a mother would ever truly get enough sleep though.  For the most part everyone's health has greatly improved though there is a tiny bit still lurking around.  Thankfully though not enough to be bothersome.

The baking simply did not happen.  At all.  Martha Stewart I certainly am not.  Well I did make two of the biggest batches of gingerbread you have ever seen.  Unfortunately though they did not successfully transform into magnificent houses that Hansel and Gretel would be proud to call home.  Turns out that making gingerbread houses in less than a 24 hour period is near on impossible.  Especially with the high levels of humidity currently found here.  Unless of course you are a smarty pants and have one of these


Which of course I didn't know about until after I needed it.  Apparently for under $10 it is possible to purchase a cheats house with most of the hard work already done.  All the non Martha Stewart types such as myself need to do is some simple construction and decoration with everything needed included.  Hopefully I can let you know next week how it went.

My biggest nemesis the housework, is probably slightly in the lead this week. Mt Washmore is actually under control, just in time for the wet weather that is apparently heading in this direction.  Even the folding is not too overwhelming.  As for the dishes...they have been worse but I am not sure if they could really be considered under control.

The scheduled posts I spoke of were a bit hit and miss.  I did get two scheduled ones out I think and then two more on top of that so not a bad effort but not something a problogger would be doing.  I am also pretty sure that a problogger doesn't lose their card reader cord which is needed to transfer the not so awesome photos taken of their very awesome Christmas decorations.  Said cord has now been located though so I guess perhaps I can try again.

Stop.

Negative Nancy has no place here.  I will not beat myself up on what I could have done better or different.  I did what I did and that is that.  Tomorrow after all is a new day.

You see the real goal of last week was
to be the best me I could be
or rather just to make sure I tried.  And I honestly feel that I can say I did try.  Sure I had a few major failures (think soft stodgy gingerbread that never stood a chance of being a house) but there were some great gains and even a few successes.

I managed to create a lovely new button for my blog
I did get out a few rather awesome posts (even if I do say so myself) In fact my Thankful Thursday post about breastfeeding may actually lead to another post as I realised there was still so much more I want to share.
I did have a few moments where my voiced was slightly raised to the point that some may call a yell but there were also many many moments where I caught myself in time and took a different approach.

Last week the best me was supposed to do little bits here and there as they needed doing.  I think little is the operative word here.  I still need to work on this somewhat.  The best me was also supposed to be organised.  I must say I wonder if I even truly understand the meaning of the word.  The best me was also meant to be planning yet remaining flexible, which with hindsight I can't help be question whether that statement is in fact an oxymoron.

So what's for this week?

Well the theme of being the best me I can be is something that is going to hang around for a while.  It is something that I really want to instill in the girls and what better way to do that than to lead by example.

Wednesday will be a particularly difficult day for me and the lead up to it will also involve quite a bit of stress.  As such it will also call for the biggest helping of understanding I can muster.  I will spare you the details now but chances are pretty good a post will pop up in the week.  Speaking of posts I am unveiling my first review tomorrow and it even comes with a give away.  Which is more than a little exciting I can tell you.

There are a few Christmas craft projects that I still need to get out the way.  Particularly as they are required as gifts for others.  So clearly this is one of my priorities for the week.  As is this

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What about you?  Have you got something you want to work on? Please join in.  Head over to The Mother Experiment to see how you can become part of Me & YOU

Saturday, December 17

Weekend Rewind - Rocktober

This week's Weekend Rewind, hosted by And then there were four is flashing back to the month of October.  Now I don't know about your October but for me it was a pretty full on month.  Always has been really, but rarely for the right reasons.

In terms of blogging though October is the month that has the most posts so choosing one for today was less than easy.  This October so the second anniversary of my father's passing so there are a few posts based around that as I still try to come to terms with the loss.  Some days are much easier than others but like I tell my girls he will always live on in our hearts.

October is also the month that remembers little lives that have been lost with Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.   I am more than thankful to be able to say that this does not directly affect me.  I wish that everyone the whole world round be able to say the same.  Sadly though that is not the case.

With that in mind it made it easy to choose which October post I will share today.  Click here to read more

Friday, December 16

Things I Know about TIK

Since this is Shae's final week at hosting the ever popular Things I Know (TIK) meme I thought that it would be fitting for this post to be all about the things I know about my time with Yay For Home as the host of this link up.  Next week the equally lovely Kellie over at The Good, The Bad and The Unnecessary which must be pretty exciting for her.

I know that as I write there are a total of sixteen posts with the tag TIK
I know my first ever TIK was way back on June 25th.  Yes you are right that was a Saturday rather than Friday.  I was a day late (nothing unusual there lateness is a genetic disorder I have suffered from since before birth).
I know this also happens to be my most popular post ever.  Weird huh?
I know that when it comes to my top ten posts two of them are TIK posts.  The other one which comes in at number seven was written recently.  It shares all I know on friendships.
I know that going back and reading some of these old posts has shown me how much changes as much as stays the same.
I know that in the week when I thought about what I would know this week it seemed much easier than what it is proving to be now.

and last but not least

I know that I have greatly enjoyed linking up with Shae each week and I know that linking up with Kellie will be just as awesome.

I know  that you should head over to

and see all the other things that people know

Thursday, December 15

Grab My Button!

A Parenting Life

See that groovy button up there?

I made it myself!!

I know right go me.
Actually go Daisy.  She gave me this awesome link

It is for a button generator.
So so easy to use.
Expect to see me putting buttons up all over the place now



What's that? You want my button?
No worries, it would be my pleasure

A Parenting Life
<div align="center"><a href="http://aparentinglife.blogspot.com" title="A Parenting Life"><img src="http://i1186.photobucket.com/albums/z380/lourhi/blogbutton.jpg" alt="A Parenting Life" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

It can also be found in my sidebar. 
 Feel free to share the love and many thanks for doing so. 
 Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses to one and all

Thankful Thursday - Breastfeeding

Last week I mentioned that this week I would be giving thanks for the wonder that is breastfeeding.  When I wrote that I truly expected that sometime over the coming week I would make the time to have the post all written in advance so that come 5am today said post would schedule post and all I would need to do is link it up with Kate.  Naturally though thad is not what happened and instead here I am Thursday morning without a post.  Since very few people actually read last week's post I did briefly consider giving thanks for something else but felt that would be a bit like cheating.
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If I combine the time spent feeding each child, the total is over six years.  At 20 months DD3 still feeds through the night and a couple of times through the day.  Basically whenever she feels like.  It was the same with the other two.  I can not begin to explain the thanks I give for being able to breastfeed.

As you may be aware I am all about ease and quick fixes.  Both of which breastfeeding is.  There are no bottles to wash or forget to take with you.  A boob is always clean and ready for action.  I seriously worry that if I was a bottle feeder I would forget at least on one occasion to take either the bottle or the formula with me when I went out. (Laugh not, this is the same mother who can go out and forget to take a spare nappy with her).  So lucky for me breastfeeding means one less thing I need to pack when going out.  For which I am super thankful.

When I was pregnant with DD1 the only fear I really had was that I wouldn't be able to breastfeed.  I am not sure where this stemmed from as there was no reason why I felt this way.  Within minutes after the birth however my fears were dissipated  as my newborn quickly attached herself and showed we were both naturals.  Being thankful doesn't even begin to explain how I felt.  This only grew in the coming weeks as feeding went from strength to strength and I watched my little blossom thrive on the milk I produced for her.

Being somewhat small in the chest department, breastfeeding a newborn had more benefits than just nourishment as well.  Which as you can well imagine I was pretty thankful for.  Now I am not saying I would really want to be a DD all my life but there was something nice about being one for a while.  (Especially after previously only just managing to fill a B cup)  The downside to this all though is that once feeding is well established and been happening for a while said breasts not only return to their former size but perhaps even shrink and most definitely sag.  Neither of which I can find a way to be thankful for.

What I am thankful for though is the confidence and knowledge that has come with my breastfeeding experience.  The first time round I didn't know that you could feed while laying down.  Nor did I know that you didn't have to lift your top up.  I can still clearly recall the first time I saw someone pulling the top of their shirt down.  That woman is a genius and has my endless thanks.  I cringe at all that time I spent exposing my flabby tummy rolls of post birth because I failed to see that tops can be pulled down just as easy as they can go up.

Of course over a ten year period fashion has changed somewhat.  Especially when it comes to the breastfeeding mother.  Back when I first started feeding there were none of the affordable easy access tops and singlets that today's breastfeeding mother is blessed with.  A development I am more than thankful for.  Mind you when I mentioned this to my mother her only comment was well imagine what it was like when I had you which is a pretty fair point.  I am thankful that today's breastfeeding woman has more options available to her than the mothers of years gone by.

So there you have it a few of the reasons why I am thankful for breastfeeding.  Joining in over at Kate Says Stuff who is today thankful for little things.  What are you thankful for?  Head over and join on in.




Tuesday, December 13

All I Want For Christmas

A few weeks ago the ever lovely Jess posted her list of Christmas wishes and being the awesome kinda blogger that she is, she tagged a few fellow bloggers to share all they want for Christmas.  I must say I felt more than a little special to be one of those said bloggers.  It sorta made me feel like the cool kids at school were asking me to play with them.

At the time my internet was a bit AWOL due to hubs exceeding our limit (yet again) because of his ridiculous desire to download movies onto the iPad.  However since he now has an adaptor and cord that allows us to watch said movies on our TV it does not seem so ridiculous but it does still bug me just a little.  That perhaps is a post for another day though.

Back to now.

Because our internet was so damn slow there was no way my Christmas wish list was possible as I wanted to include some rather cool photos that I stole sourced from the net.  You see this is what Jess had done for hers and I found it rather appealing.  Plus I have slowly been trying to work out how to use Pinterest.

Unfortunately for me though by the time our monthly allowance had been reset there were other posts to be written and my wish list got pushed to the back of the list.  Not only that I had trouble coming up with exactly what I want for Christmas.  As a closet hoarder who is currently in the process of trying to declutter and regain control I am not really in the right mind frame to be thinking of more things to bring into the house.  I am however a dedicated blogger (and awesome one at that see this post for details) and therefore have come up with a list of Christmas wishes.


  1. While cramming five of us into a two bedroom townhouse is a little squishy to say the least I do not necessarily wish for a new house like Jess did.  We have a great location close to everything and this was our first home together as such.  I have bought two babies into this home and over the years there are just too many memories made here to just walk away from it.  At least right now.  So rather than a lovely new mansion which would be way beyond my housekeeping skills if I could just expand this little box a bit that would be lovely.
  2. During the renovations on the house it would be lovely if we could have a family holiday.  You know one of those all expenses paid gigs where we see the world and money is not an issue.  I am not saying I want to stay in five star joints (though that would be nice) What I really want is for us to go and see places like this

     

    Source for all photos: google.com.au via A Parenting Life on Pinterest
  3. A new pair of bathers.  Something practical and gorgeous that a hip to the hop mum like me should be seen in.  Actually anything that has not lost it elastic or faded to nearly see through like my current ensembles would be good.  I am not sure how that all three pairs of bathers that I currently own all managed to fall apart at the same time.  Just in time for summer as well.
  4. Come to think of it an entire new wardrobe wouldn't go astray.  After twenty months of breastfeeding (which I do still love) I am however over the whole peek-a-boo boobie feature that is found in every article of clothing I currently own.  Plus if I am jet setting all over the world on my family holiday I should be looking stylish while I do it.
  5. Just a brief visit from
    Source
    That way she could teach me how to sing her magic lullaby and my bedtime nightmares would become a thing of the past.  She might even have a tip or two for me on how to maintain the new quarters to a spick and span kind of level.
  6. A new hairstyle.
    Well actually just a hair style other than the bleh mop thing that is presently upon my head.
    Source
    Seriously apart from the orange skin this could be me
  7. About 50 000 hits on my blog.  All at once.  Or at least over a few days.  Imagine how cool that would be?  There is a bit of an attention seeker in me and the thought of going viral is just a little exciting.  Not that 50 000 really is going viral these days but it would still be pretty exciting.
  8. Speaking of blogs my next wish is to work out how to make this
    into a button that others could go and put on their blog.  You know just incase there was ever someone who wanted to do that.  Who knows one day there might be.
    I did actually go to the trouble of finding out how to do it myself a while ago only I got to the last step and something wasn't right and it didn't work and for the life of me I couldn't figure out how.  So perhaps a better wish would be to have a whole heap of html code and techy stuff like that instantly downloaded to my brain.  That way there would also be a heap of other little things in the computer world I could see to.
  9. To tell you the truth I am sort of struggling to think of any more.  I have my last one all sorted (or at least in my head it is) and I really need to think of one more so I can have a 10 Things Post.  The best I can come up with at this point is for my desire for my blog to have a revamp and facelift, after all a new will soon be upon us and why shouldn't APL be given the once over as well.  Plus I have noticed a few of my other blogs around lately who have made changes and it has only been for the better.
    The thing is that I just don't know where to begin.  I don't know my strengths and I am not really sure what it is that makes for a good blog.  I know that I want to be me and write from the heart, it's just that sometimes I am not really sure who or where that is.  I suppose that is half the fun, discovering the unknown and all but I have heard that direction is a mighty fine thing at times.
    So please Santa if you wouldn't mind could you somehow just help my point my blog in the direction of mass popular awesomeness that will see me gain great benefit and success.
  10. My final wish for Christmas 2011 is that it be one filled with love and laughter.  A time where peace fills the air and all is well.  A time that memories and dreams are made of to last the coming year through.  I wish this not just for myself, but also for you dear reader , and all who you know.  May one and all have a blessed time with family and friends with an endless supply of fairy wishes and butterfly kisses.

It's Tuesday today so I am linking up with Diary of SAHM (who unveils her brand new look today at her brand new home which is super exciting) 
as well as 


Ten Things Tuesday over at
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Monday, December 12

Me & YOU Monday - The Return!

Yeah baby we are back in business!  Today marks' the return of The Mother Experiment's wonderful self improvement link up Me & YOU.

By far and away THE best way for me to start my week off.

For those who are new Me & YOU was started by Karlee as a way to work on areas of life that may be in need of improving.  You know like road rage or nail biting, excessive swearing, eating too much chocolate, lack of exercise.  I am sure you get the picture.  For me I decided that housework, my somewhat nemesis was what I would tackle.  One painful week at a time.

Actually I embraced it with gusto and at times actually felt that there was a chance of me taking out Domestic Goddess of the year.  There were also times when procrastination and laziness clearly over took my mind and body and I was more likely to be the winner of slob of the year.

After eleven weeks Karlee decided to spice things up a little and extend the link up to a monthly basis.   Even as she announced it I knew that monthly would not work for me.  My attention span is somewhat limited.  I get distracted easily and staying focused is not always a strong point.  Keeping up my momentum for an entire month would not be easy.  Thankful this also turned out to be the way for our lovely host and without further ado here we are back to the first weekly installment.

Now incase you are wondering as I sit here the tower of dishes on my drainer are in fact clean.  There are a few cups to be washed but not enough to really bother just yet.  The only clothes waiting to be folded are the knickers and socks.  Which I hate with more than a passion but apparently since I am the only one that cares if they are folded or not I am also the only one who will actually fold them.  If only there was something worthy of my attention on TV then perhaps I would be more inclined to sit and fold them.

In fact on the whole the house is pretty spick and span.  Well at least the bottom half is.  There is a bit of work to do in the bedrooms but they are only minor details.  Not to mention that the bedrooms are upstairs and essentially out of sight and therefore out of mind for most of the day.

Since this is the last week of the school term and two weeks out from Christmas I am very cautious as to what I set myself out to do.  Being the intricate human being that I am if I have a to do list that is too long or overwhelming I am more than likely to look at it and immediately throw it in the already overflowing too hard basket.  Having said that though there is heaps of stuff that I want to get down.

I want to build 4 gingerbread houses.  One for here, one each for the girls to class parties and one to be included in the school raffle.  Despite never having successfully made one before I suddenly think that not only can I make them but also make them awesome enough to give away as a prize.

I want to take some kick ass photos of my Christmas decorations because I am not sure how much longer I can keep going on about them without actually showing them.  Plus if I talk them up much more my photos may never do them justice.

I want be all Martha Stewart like and have the housework constantly under control while I becoming a baking goddess who is so over flowing with creativity makes endless homemade gifts.  You see the four gingerbread houses I spoke of earlier are not the only baking I wish to get done this week.  I am not even sure what it is I want to bake.  I just want to bake.  Isn't that what Christmas is all about? Making yummy food to share with one and all.

I want  to have a post scheduled for 5am every single morning.  Or at least three mornings. Though five would be better.

I want  to not yell, scream, or let my frustrations get the better of me when the kidlets get just that little too much.  As kidlets do in the last week of school in the lead up to Christmas.

I want to play and laugh and have fun with said kidlets in a bit to avoid the build up of frustrations.  What I really want is for kidlets to not be sick or tired or run down as this will probably also help in the avoidance of frustrations.  For everyone.

I want to make the time to try my hand at some Christmas crochet.

I want to get some more sleep each night and I want the kidlets to do the same.

There is still more but really I have possibly already applied just a little to much pressure for one week.  Oh and did I mention I need to think of a super cool present for MIL's rather special (it has a 0 on the end) birthday on Friday.  I may also need to make a cake.  A bit of Christmas shopping wouldn't go astray either...

So there you have it.  A mammoth week ahead for me as there is also a few school events that will probably need my attention as well.  Even as I write this I know that chances are pretty good this won't go to plan.  But that's ok.

As long as I truly try that is all that matters.  My motto for the week is to be the best me I can be.  A catchy cliche I know but really as long as I can honestly say I gave it my best then that is all that matters.  This is what I ask of the girls and it is only right that I set the same for myself.

The best me knows that doing little bits around the house as they need doing is the best option.
The best me knows that I need to make time to be organised and plan my day.
The best me also knows that even though I plan I need to stay flexible.

What's your plan for the week?  Have you got one?  Or is there perhaps there something else in your life you want to work on?  Head on over to The Mother Experiment and join on in.

Saturday, December 10

Weekend Rewind - Looking for Inspiration


While I was aimless wandering round my usual combination of Twitter, Facebook and favourite blogs I noticed that Veronica over at Mixed Gems kept going on about this thing called Weekend Rewind. Not being one to miss out on a good link up opportunity I went to discover more.  And boy did I discover!

The gracious host is a blog rather new to me and yet I already feel like I have stumbled across a long lost friend.  Of course discovering a wonderful new blog this early on a Saturday morning means what little hope my housework had of getting done is now greatly diminished. So where can this blog I speak of be found? Well they are in the cool crowd and have buttons so click the button below and off you will go.


See I told it was awesome there.

So after much thought, deliberation and re-reading I was able to find a post that was suitable to include in this week's link up.  This week the theme was a post from September.  I didn't bother looking past September this year because quite frankly I have only been putting a concerted effort into this blog since about March.  So September 2011 had a total of 20 posts to it's name.  Most of which were a TIK or Thankful Thursday post with a few Wordless Wednesday's thrown in for good measure.  Apparently I can only blog if I am linking up (actually I link up because so far that has been the best way for me to get traffic).  

In the end I narrowed it down to two posts. This one and this one.  Of course only one could be included in the actual link up.  To find out which on I decided on you will have to head here and find out.  While you are there make sure you check out some of the other great rewinds for this weekend.

Friday, December 9

Things I Know - Christmas is just around the corner!

Yep I know surely not?  But alas it is true Christmas is but round the corner.  In fact it is so close I don't even want to do the maths because once you start counting down it is all over quicker than the flash of your tree lights.

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I know that as always I am grossly under prepared for the festive season.  Despite having the very best of intentions.

 I know that Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year despite all the rush and hype that it sometimes creates.

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I know that this is almost the first time this year I have mentioned Christmas in a post.  Mainly due to being so grossly under prepared, which sadly is nothing new.

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I know I love, like seriously love, our light decoration this year.  I also know that I really should get my act together and take some photos of said lights so that you too can see their beauty and be in awe.  I know that I need to take photos of all my decorations as I made some rather cool bunting that I just know you are dying to see.

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I know that I am a little excited to be having a small intimate Christmas lunch at my home for the first time in I can't remember how long.

I know that I am also looking forward to mum's cook up this weekend as it is the only time a lot of us will get to be together.

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I know there are a few things about Christmas this year I don't particularly like but I am hoping if I ignore them they won't be so awful.

This is the second to last Things I Know to be hosted by Yay For Home.  I know that is a little sad but I guess all good things must come to an end.  Make sure you swing by next week  for the final installment.