Thursday, May 29

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday with A Parenting Life I would like to be able to say I am thankful that Queensland won the opening game in this year's State of Origin. Unfortunately though that was not the case. Thankfully though there are still two more games before the series is decided so all hope is not yet lost.

So what else am I thankful for this week?

There is so much to choose from that I almost don't know where to begin.

Last year when Mr Awesome's Grandma passed away we took a few banana suckers from her garden.  I had been quietly hoping that they would fruit before we embarked on #ouradventureofalifetime and low and behold guess what we found in the garden the other day?

In fact it turns out there is not one but two bunches of these little beauties growing. So now I am just hoping that they will ripen in time. Still I am thankful to be able to watch them grow.

The other thing I am super thankful for is Mr Awesome just going ahead and organising our AANT roadside assistance membership. He had been nagging asking me for for quite some time to get on to it but for whatever reason I just never got around to it, so eventually he just did it himself.

A couple of days ago their marketing manager contacted to let Mr A know he had just won some random draw prize they do every few months. The prize, wait for it, $3000 to put towards travel to Bali!

Sadly though we are not overly interested in heading in that direction. Given that we are getting ready to for #ouradventureofalifetime and all.

Mr A told the lovely person on the other end of the phone all of this. The prize needed to be used within six months which really is not an option for us, especially since none of us even have a current passport. Anyway it turns out the people at AANT are all kinds of cool and were able to offer us something a lot more suitable. Something like some travel insurance and gift vouchers to use on our trip to the tune of $3000!

Thankful doesn't even begin to describe my feelings.

Other thanks this week goes to ...

... the dude who has said he would do my kitchen for me. He popped into work on Wednesday just to let me know it was all still a goer (I hadn't heard from him for a few weeks and was trying not to stress about it). While he wouldn't tell me an exact price he has assured me it is at mates rates if not better. Bless him.

... my mum for giving up her Supermum prize voucher for my sister and I to use. We were both treated to a wonderful massage and deluxe pedicure which involves some funky paraffin wax soak. My feet feel all kinds of soft and silky.

... the therapist that gave me my massage. She is AWESOME at her job.

... walking away from the car boot sale at school with few goods and more money than when we arrived.

... my boss for giving me a three day weekend. To say I was starting to feel frazzled with the whole working 6 days nights a week was the understatement of the month.

Now you. What are you thankful for this week?

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Tuesday, May 27

A blogging conundrum

Given my looming assignment deadline, working most nights and the expectation people have of a clean house and food regularly put on the table, not to mention clean clothes and what have you, I wasn't expecting to actually sit down and write a post for IBOT this week. Only when I came home from work and discovered two children not sleeping like they were supposed to be, blogging seemed like the only sensible way to deal with the situation so here I am.

The alternative was to give into their demands or rather hopes and snuggle up next to them and drift off to the land of nod with them. Which while sounds rather pleasant and appealing it is not nearly as wonderful as actually drifting in the comfort of my own bed.

Thanks to the joys of being a laptop owner I was able to sit on the end of the bed while they drifted off to sleep and try and tap out a few words of wisdom to share with you all. Naturally though those words failed me and I found myself heading towards Candy Crush in a bit to pass whatever elusive level I am currently stuck on.

By the time all children were finally sleeping though I had become so attached to the idea of actually blogging I just had to sit and give it another go.

Which is where I am now.

Desperately wanting to try and say something but not entirely sure of what that something is.

Due to my overwhelming feeling of commitments and a serious lack of hours in a day I have not been pulling my weight in terms of being a good blogger. And by being a good blogger I mean sharing all the comment love that makes blogging the awesome past time that it is.

In fact I am yet to even leave a comment on the wonderful thankers who joined in Thankful Thursday last week. Which makes me all kinds of sad. (I promise I will get there very soon ladies, I have read them all just not left a note to say so.)

All of this has left me wondering if I really should be spending this time right now writing away. Aside from all the other things I should be doing in real life there feels like a gazillion things I should be doing in the blogosphere as well before I let myself have the privilege of writing a post. If I don't have the time to read and comment do I really have the right to write?

But the thing is...

...there is a part of me that just has to drop everything and write.

It is almost as if the only way my brain is able to take stock of all that is before me, is if I stop and ramble on a bit here first. It is like a downloading of clarity if you will.

As a wise woman and friend pointed out to me I always have the right to write, we all do. However it is the right to link up and join in the community that is questionable.

Actually she never said the last bit but I felt it was implied and feel it to be quite true as well.

But the other thing is... much as I need to just write I also need to feel that at least a few people have read whatever I have written and without linking up and joining a community that often never happens.

Oh the conundrums of being a blogger.

Ironically in a bid to seek some answers I am joining in with Jess for #IBOT.

So tell me how you feel about reading, writing and joining in with links

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Sunday, May 25

Snapshots of Us - Weeks 17 to 21

So it appears as if Snapshots of Us has now become a monthly instalment. I guess it has just been one of those months.

Since we last met life feels like it has been all kinds of crazy. 

I somehow managed to get my assignment handed in on time and even achieved a passable grade. And before all you kind souls start saying I am sure you got more than a pass you are just being modest I didn't. I got 68 out 100. Which honestly given the last minute that I left it to is all it really deserved. I am a little surprised to have scored that highly actually.

Sadly however it did not seem to give me any encouragement to tackle the next assignment any differently. I have less than a week to come up with a two thousand word research report that cites at least at eight sources. Insert a whole range of swear words here.

As you may recall I recently became the mother of a teenager. Oh the sighs.
In true teenager form she has had me at my wits ends on more occasions than I would like to admit. After a particularly awful morning, that had followed a particularly awful night I treated myself to a coffee after braving a morning food shopping expedition with Teapot. Who just happens to have the most amazing way of melting my heart and making me feel better about life as a whole.

 We finally got to take the van out for a test run. It was all kinds of awesome and then some. I, and I think everyone else, can not wait till this type of life becomes our norm.

 Zany had her first ever sleep over at a friend's house. It was a birthday party and she just wanted to go so badly that despite my inner being going this is a bad idea I let her go. Teapot and Mr Awesome picked her up the next morning. They have pet bearded dragons and let Teapot have a hold. Clearly she was over the moon about it.

On Mother's Day, along with thousands of women around the country, I went for a run. It was hard and relatively slow but at the end of it I was all kinds of pleased with myself.

After the run we went to a caravan expo. Being in the Territory means there were naturally wild animals for the kids there. Naturally the wild animals were crocodiles. I do so love that the girls have no qualms about holding and touching such creatures.

Or any kind of creatures for that matter.

This little fella was hiding out in mum's spare fridge on her verandah. Oh the giggles from Teapot as he clambered all over her.

She was more than disappointed when I made her put him in the shade house but it had to be done.

For some reason Zany seems to have missed being in photos for most of the month just gone. This is one of the few I managed to find of her. 

We went to the wave pool with my sister and her son. Oh such a precious time. The week that they were here just flew on by way to fast.

Gosh I love these munchkins oh so much.

One of our adventures with my sister involved breakfast at the museum cafe, it was one of the few times we were there before everyone else. It gave me a chance to snap a few photos.

 But first let me take a selfie.

The lovely necklace that I am sporting was kindly made by Zany at school as a Mother's Day present. She is not coping so well with the never ending nights at work that I have been faced with lately and requested that I wear it always. How could I refuse?

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Wednesday, May 21

Thankful Thursday - More of the same

Thankful Thursday with A Parenting Life Today I am again finding myself thankful for something, or rather someone, that I know I have been thankful for in past. Though unlike last week it is not Mr Awesome (mind you he does still rate pretty highly in the thankful stakes).

This week the thing that I give most of my thanks for is being able to spend time with my most darling little sister and her even more darling son.

As a regular reader you would know that they pretty much live at the opposite end of the country to what I do. Something that pains me no end as it means my time with them is always so limited.

Flying the five of us anywhere is near on impossible due to the ghastly expense and it is not necessarily that much easier for them to just pop up here when the mood suits. Which makes the times that they do drop on by even more special.

A gift from my sister a few years ago
In light of our up coming adventure of a lifetime (which I promise I will write more about soon for those wanting to know more details), my sister thought it would be good to catch up before we depart. If my non planning goes to plan we should be her way in six months or so but quite frankly neither of us could wait that long so I am stoked she could squeeze this visit in.

Growing up I had no aunties or uncles nearby. Which I must admit I didn't like all that much. While I might not have known exactly what I was missing out on, school yard chatter was enough to make me know that I was missing out.

Seeing the joy that the girls get out of spending time with their aunties, uncles and cousins confirms that yes I did miss out growing up without extended family and makes me treasure every moment they get to spend with theirs.

Other thanks this week goes to

- Agent Mystery Case for casing me
- my new running watch and being able to work out how to get it to talk to my computer (which believe me was no easy feat)
- Lovely showing signs that my beautiful girl is still hidden amongst the angsty teen she likes to portray
- each night when I put Zany to bed her telling me that she thinks I am the best mum ever
- more goodies arriving in preparation for our trip
- being able to easily find new shoes for the girls

Now you...

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Monday, May 19

Writer's Reveal - The final chapter

Regular readers may possibly recall that once a month I partake in a little group activity called Writer's Reveal. It is a group that includes the following awesome and talented writers Melissa Writes, The Wolfe's Den, Imagine Create Write, Ashley and You learn something new everyday.

Every month we have one writer give out a prompt that we all right to. This month the prompt was given by yours truly. Just quietly I don't think I could have come up with a tricker prompt if I had of tried.

Given that the original idea behind the group was to help us with our fiction writing I thought I would try and come up with something that suited that notion. With hindsight I am thinking that maybe I should have given it just a little more thought.

The topic I came up with was...

"A tale about siblings with a magical twist"

At the time of coming up with my less than brilliant idea I was in the process of co-writing a story with Zany. As it turns out that is also what I am going to share with you today. Zany's inclusions are in bold.

Once upon a time there was a little girl and one days she went for a walk along the beach with her sister and their pet turtle.
When they were on the beach they found a beautiful shell. 
The little girl, who was called Becka, looked at the shell and said "wow it is pretty." Then she picked it up and put it next to her ear and she heard whhhhhssssshhhhhh. It sounded just like the waves that were crashing on the sand. 
Then she heard a little voice say "Help!" come from the shell.
Becka looked around. She couldn't see anyone other than her sister and their turtle on the beach. "Did you hear that?" she asked her sister Sally.
"No" said Sally.
"When I put the shell to my ear I thought I heard a voice asking for help. Hear you listen" Becka said as she passed the shell to her sister
"I still don't hear anything" said Sally
"Hmmmm, that is strange" said Becka. "Oh well I guess I must just be imagining it" she went on" come on let's keep walking"
"Help" cried the voice again
This time it was louder and Sally could hear it as well
"Oh" said Sally "did you hear that Becka? 
"Yes I did." replied her sister.
"I wonder where it is coming from?" said Sally 
"It is me" said a fairy called Sky.
"Where are you?" asked Becka
"In the shell, I'm stuck." replied the voice.
"Oh no!" Becka and Sally cried out together. "How did that happen?"
"Jackfrost did it" answered the little fairy.
"Well that wasn't very nice of him" said Sally
"How can we help get you out?" asked Becka
"Jackfrost is evil, he is mean to us fairies. Maybe you could try and pull me out with rope?" said Sky"We don't have any rope" said Sally
"But we do have rope in the car" said Becka."I think that it will be too thick though" replied Sally. "We will need to think of something else"
"I can make it small." called out Sky from her shell. 
"Oh hang on, I have a better" said Becka "Maybe we can use my necklace as a chain!""What a great idea" said Sky
"Let's do it!" said Sally
So Becka took off her necklace and Sally held the shell still. Becka carefully lowered the golden chain into the shell.
"It is to short I can't reach it" said Sky.
"What about if you stand on your tippy toes or try jumping?" suggested Becka
Standing on her tippy toes and stretching her arms as far as they would go Sky tried to reach the dangling chain that was just out of reach. It was still just out of reach.Taking a deep breath, not taking her eyes of the chain she jumped up and grabbed on to the chain. As she felt the chain brush against her finger tips she closed her hand tightly and grabbed hold of the chain.
"I've got it!" She exclaimed with great joy.
Carefully Becka pulled her necklace up out of the shell. Eagerly awaiting to see the little fairy dangling off the end.

Sadly that is as far as we got. Though even more sadly this will be my final post as part of the Writer's Reveal group. Blogging of late has been somewhat difficult and with #ourtripofalifetime drawing nearer with every day I can only see it becoming harder.

Thanks to the lovely ladies for including me in their uber cool group though and I hope you take the time to see all the other wonderful stories they came up with for this prompt.

Joining in also with Essentially Jess for #IBOT
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Wednesday, May 14

Thankful for Mr Awesome

Thankful Thursday with A Parenting Life Once again Thursday sees me being thankful for something that involves Mr Awesome.

Though just between you and me I actually wrote those words nearly two years ago. They are however incredibly true for this week as well. Why I didn't get to finish the post two years ago I do can not remember, I guess life or something like it got in the way. The rest of the post, or at least the rest of what I had written, went a little like this.

This week we very quietly celebrated eight years of wedded bliss.  When I say very quietly I mean we did nothing.  When I say wedded bliss I mean absolute joy and happiness that comes from starting each and every day with the one you love.

And that's it.
Me and the man himself
Thankfully though there is so much more that I can add today.

Well there was so much more that I could have added then but time just never seemed to permit me the opportunity then. I have actually gone to give thanks for him on a few other occasions since then but never actually got the post out on account of worrying you may be sick of me harping on about how I got beyond lucky in the husband department.

Last month I started a post about him and then thought I would give thanks not just to Mr Awesome but all the awesome men out there, because I am certain there are others, only it was about the same time that a father killed his son and there was a lot of domestic violence talk in the  media and it just didn't seem quite right.

Today however I am so overwhelmed with his awesomeness I can not hold back.

As much as this post is spurred by his support in me purchasing ridiculously expensive goods;

My beautiful new boots and jacket, both of which make me
feel beyond a million dollars
it is also about an unwavering and constant support in every little thing that I set out to do. Regardless of how achievable or ridiculous it may actually be or even turn out to be. While he may at times suggest I don't proceed with whatever I hair brain idea I have come up with, rarely is it that he will actually stop me (or even try to) from proceeding. He is never one to stand there and say I told you so or anything similar either.

If I succeed, he cheers and encourages me to do more.
If I fall down, he helps me back up again.
If I am unsure, he encourages me.
If I am scared or sad, he comforts me.

Everything that he does, is with my best interest and thought in mind. Always has been and I am relatively confident that it always will be. 

I really can not even begin to explain just how blessed I feel to have him in my life. He is a dream come true.

He is selfless, committed, beyond understanding, supportive, loving, compassionate, giving, thoughtful, honestly the list could be endless but I think by now you are starting to get the picture. 

He is the type of man that every parent hopes their daughter will marry. I am so, so, so very thankful that he is the man I got to marry.

So Mr Awesome, thank you for being you, my rock and central force. Without you I dread to think where I might be.
So tell me, what are you thankful for this week?

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Saturday, May 10

Everyone Else is Normal, right?

Hello, hello, hello all the way from St Albans, in the heart of South East England, one trillion miles away from Australia, yet so close in many respects…. It’s wonderful to be given the chance to pop in on this fantastic blog, to chat to you, Rhianna’s blog followers. I hope you don’t mind me dropping by.

Siobhan is my name, I’m half-Irish-English, and I’m married to a laid back, bare footed Aussie, from Perth I might add, who came to England 20 years ago to meet his erstwhile father. He found a wife in the process. We then went on to produce a girl who’s nearly 10 and a boy who’s 7. They rarely cease to both delight and infuriate me, usually the former thankfully.

I started this all-consuming, addictive hobby called blogging about 2 years ago, spurred on by a burning desire to write and hounded by a terrible boredom bordering on depression 7 years after I became a parent and a Stay at Home Mum. You see I used to do the total opposite for a job – travel around the world, write intelligent sounding policy papers for World Vision to inform MPs of the dreadful situations going on in Rwanda or Palestine, and generally do the opposite of my parenting job.

Not that I didn’t love becoming a mum in many respects (aside from the exhaustion, lack of reading time and general self-sacrifice) but it was quite a shock.

The name of my blog, Everyone Else is Normal, has either made you laugh out loud, smile wryly, or protest that that’s rubbish. If you did the first two, that was my intention. If the latter, good, I got a reaction and you’re right – it is rubbish.

No one else is normal.

But as humans we have this annoying habit. It's comparing ourselves to others.
Something to do with a deep insecurity in humans that everyone else is probably doing better than ourselves.

And when we became parents – oh Lord! – any insecurities and lack of confidence we have is magnified several times over. It's a potent mix of our inexperience as parents, our pride, and our desire to do the better-than-best for our child.

Like I said, I live in St Albans, an historic Roman town steeped in both history and parents. It’s the place where Britain’s first Christian martyr was beheaded for his faith, and we have a super great big cathedral to honour that. Being only 20 mins train ride north of central London in what they call the Green Belt (a wonderful post war planning law to stop the inexorable spread of London) and full of excellent schools, it’s a magnate for professionals wanting to start up a family. Like my parents did 45 years ago.

As a result, its an area that suffers from a classic case of what I call comparative and sometimes competitive parenting: the general over-worrying about our kids’ education, health, accumulation of toys, birthday party protocols and general slight neuroses about whether we’re spending enough time with them or whether they’re spending too much time on their ipads….
I’m not selling my town well am I?!. It’s actually a fantastic, vibrant town full of interesting, warm people, with interesting jobs, a good dollop of culture, music and pubs - we have one for each day of the year I think (I can hear the stampede to move here!). Most people do have jobs but people work long hours, have huge mortgages to pay and the cost of living keeps increasing. But those of us with jobs live very privileged lives in comparison to the increasing number who can’t even feed their kids (my church runs a foodbank, which has become increasingly in demand over the last 2 years).

My theories on why we live in a comparative parenting age was the very first thing I blogged about in The Culture of Comparison, but my main reason for blogging (after writing) is to most definitely to encourage others. Like Rhianna, I see it as so important to look for the positive, to embrace the seasons of life and to laugh at the tough or mundane things. I love her Thankful Thursday linky. A UK blogger, Mummy from the Heart, has something similar called Reasons to be Cheerful which I join in on sometimes.

Parenting is so tough at times, we need to encourage each other and be as honest as we can (without sacrificing our kids’ privacy) if we’re to banish this myth that Everyone Else is Normal. We are Good Enough Mums.

My blog is where I write about this and other rambling thoughts on family life in the UK by sharing the joy, exhaustion, hilarity, bickering, cooking & cleaning, explaining, tidying away, laughing, worrying, encouraging, decision-making, writing of cheques and....learning to let go, that has been my parenting journey.

I also use it as a place to post photos (a great way to see the beauty in every day life, and share Things I Discovered each month:

little gems I’ve found to buy, cook, read, do, make or visit that kids or their parents love and that make life that little bit easier. It’s a linky so come by at the end of each month and join in. I didn’t get to write one this month as I’ve started working from home recently, editing a book, so the blog sometimes has to take second place….

So, if you have the time (what’s that?) or the inclination, drop by sometime to share in the funny and the poignant, the rubbish and rough, but mostly to remind ourselves that no one is sorted or entirely ‘normal’, whatever that is, and to resist the temptation to think ‘everyone else is normal’...

So what’s a parenting life in Australia like? Similar in many ways I know, but not all. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Visit me at, tweet me @notsonormalmum or email me at

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Thursday, May 8

Thankful for blogging communities

Thankful Thursday with A Parenting Life I know I have said it before and no doubt I will say it again, it never ceases to amaze me how quickly Thursday seems to sneak around each week. Though truth be told at the moment time feels like it is both flying and dragging at equal speeds.

Naturally the time that involves due dates and deadlines feels like it is going at double speed and arriving well before I am ready. While on the other hand waiting for our departure day still feels like it is months away.
I am thankful for an outing that let us see this
lovely fellow, for now though the details of which
which need to wait.

One of the things that has crept up on me this week was getting the post ready for the Digital Parents Blog Carnival. A fantastic collection of thirty odd posts from various bloggers. As time consuming as it was putting it all together I am super thankful to be part of such a wonderful community and be have a turn at hosting the carnival.

Another community which I am thankful to be a part of is the one taking part in Clairey Hewitt's Blog Every Day in May. It has felt great pushing myself to get a post out every day. Sure some haven't been as long as what I would normally write but it has felt nice coming to terms with the fact that that is ok. It has also been lovely having some new faces drop by. I am always thankful for comments.

The only downside to it all is that I haven't had a chance to get around to as many other blogs as I would normally like to. Thankfully though there is still time.

Today's prompt is I am inspired by.

Naturally I am inspired by people who go out of the there way to make a difference for others or to spread the word of a cause. People like Jimmy and Sam are perfect examples.

However those that really inspire me the most are the ones that just go and live the dream. Or even just try to. Giving something a go no matter how daunting or unachievable it may seem.

I am also rather inspired by the selflessness and dedication of mothers. Especially ones who are able to put on the bravest of faces even in the most dire of circumstances. Of which there are many amongst the blogging community. I am thankful that these amazing women go out on a ledge to share their story.

If I really stop and think about what inspires me the most though I think the answer is hope. Holding onto hope, even just the tiniest slither of it can bring about the most amazing of things. Not only is hope my inspiration but it is also something to be thankful for.

What is your inspiration?

And more importantly what are you thankful for today?

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Wednesday, May 7

Digital Parents Blog Carnival - April 2014

Hello and welcome to the Digital Parents Blog Carnival for April. Showcasing some of the greatest hits from Digital Parents bloggers.

It makes me feel all kinds of special to be hosting this month and I hope you enjoy popping round and reading these fantastic posts.

So without any further ado let's get into in

What Mum's Really Want for Mother's Day  
by Nikki at The Kids Menu
As much as I love being a Mum and the coloured pasta necklaces I get each year, there are a few things I'd really like for Mother's Day...
Follow Nikki on Facebook and Twitter
A Case of Mothers Guilt 
by Toni at Finding Myself Young
My reasoning behind posting pictures of my daughter on my blog and the inevitable mummy guilt I still feel about it.

Follow Toni on Facebook

Why we should be careful what we say to our kids 
by Emily at Have A Laugh On Me
Remember to choose your words carefully today, they could have a profound impact on a little person.

Follow Emily on Facebook and Twitter

The Wintry Side of the Equation 
by Meg at Mumdanity
All about the wintry slide into the casseroles, football scarves and lacklustre-laundry months.

Follow Meg on Facebook and Twitter 

Four Minutes Away 
by Angie at The Little Mumma
When an unspeakable tragedy occurs just minutes from your home, how is it that the earth does not shift beneath your very feet?

Follow Angie on Facebook and Twitter

3 Things I have discovered since becoming a Mum 
by Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey
I am writing about 3 things no-one really tells you before you have kids of your own.

Follow Your Cheeky Monkey on Facebook and Twitter

The Placenta & The Pomegranate Tree 
by Talia at the Climbing Tree
What did you do with your placenta after your baby was born? The story of planting one under a pomegranate tree & the hope that fills us as it gives life again!

Follow Talia on Facebook and Twitter

What It Means to be Mummy 
by Michelle at They call me Mummy
Being Mummy isn't all rainbows and unicorns and not ALL the moments are Instagram worthy.

Motherhood is gritty and tough and oftentimes lonely. But then that moment comes - the one that gives you clarity and you realise that there's no name you'd rather be called than, "Mummy".

Follow Michelle on Facebook and Twitter

When Her Heart Stopped Beating {Trigger Warning}
by Eva at The Multitasking Mummy
It's an aspect of pregnancy that is not often spoken about, but I decided to share my miscarriage experience, my emotions and my perspectives. I know there are others that will relate.

Follow Eva on Facebook and Twitter 

Sleepless in Sydney
by Suzy at Rugrat Rodeos
Domestic standards have dropped dramatically in response to a sharp surge in sleep debt: to which everyone in the vicinity is making contributions..

Follow Suzy on Facebook and Twitter
The Bikini Bridge - and the Beauty of Hindsight 
by Lizzy at The Muddle-Headed Mamma
A post that question what it truly means to be beautiful.

Follow Lizzy on Twitter 

This one time, at band camp 
by Bron at Maxabella loves
The night I went to band camp as a parent "yelper".

Follow Bron on Facebook and Twitter

The Power of No 
by Lydia at Where the Wild Things Were
Why parents shouldn't demand the world to change for the sake of their children. Parents should start to parent and say NO when they need to.

Follow Lydia on Twitter

Art is in the Eye of the Holder 
by Pinky Poinker
Do you hate it when your child comes home with paint all over their school uniform?

Follow Pinky on Facebook and Twitter

Coming Soon 
by Malinda at My Brown Paper Packages
An exciting new feature is coming to My Brown Paper Packages. Every Friday I feature a guest who shares their top five favourite things. 

Follow Malinda on Facebook and Twitter

My Crafty Corner: Seeing Double! 
by Becci at Becci's Domestic Bliss
After over a years work hooking away I have finally finished two beadspread sized Granny Patchwork blankets for my youngest two!
The are wrapt!

Follow Becci on Facebook

Preparing for a weeks holiday 
Lisa at No Excuses!
Holidaying away with a large family requires lots of planning, preparation and packing. This upcoming weekend, the No Excuses household are heading off for a week away with another large sized family ~ there will be 9 of us and 10 of them.

Follow No Excuses! on Facebook and Twitter
Labeling Mental Health Versus Thyroid 
by Pamela at Thyroid Living
How easily a thyroid issue can be mistaken as a mental illness. 

Follow Thyroid Living on Facebook and Twitter

Easter Egg Hunt 2014 
by Tonya at The Crafty Mummy
I know Easter is over for another year, but I shared my kids Easter Egg Hunt on the blog complete with the printable puzzle and clues, so this is one to pin for next year!

Follow Tonya on Facebook and Twitter

You had a bad day 
by Emily at You Learn Something New Everyday
You had a bad day. I had a bad day. Let's sing our bad day blues away with a rewrite of Daniel Powter's classic hit - you guessed it - BAD DAY.

Follow Emily on Facebook and Twitter

A series of A-words: Part 1 
by Mike at YDad
A new path on the parenting journey begins with a series of A-words.

Follow Mike on Facebook and Twitter

8 Signs You Are a Fun Loom Parent 
by Mandy at Barbie Bieber and Beyond - Raising Girls
With these little rubber bands invading my home and multiplying seemingly all on their own by the thousands, here are my 3 sure signs that the Fun Loom has taken over your life as a parent.

Follow Mandy on Facebook and Twitter

Birthday Boating Bonanza 
by Larni at The Poppy Files
Our daughter Poppy's third birthday coincided with Easter Saturday and our family spent valuable time together boating, celebrating her birthday and enjoying goodies from Easter Bunny.

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The Five Minute Chat 
by Sophie at The Mother Load
A little post about a nightly ritual which I hope will remain in our house for many years to come.

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Riding in cars with kids 
by Sam at A Life on Venus
Tips and tricks for riding in cars with kids

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The Stories of Our Post-Baby Flesh 
by Danielle at Keeping Up With The Holsbys
After seeing an ad for a 'Mummy Makeover' nip/tuck I was moved to interview and photograph mums to find out about their body image. 

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Confessions of the not yet famous 
by Alison at Talking Frankly
We've all got skeletons, but most of us aren't famous enough for them to matter. Right?

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7 annoying phrases on my "stop saying that" list
by Denise at Adventures in freelancing
7 annoying phrases I've promised myself I won't use anymore, including "wow", "amazeballs" and "I killed it".

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How to make a superhero cape 
by Kylie at The Thrifty Issue
How to make a superhero cape from any movie, book or whatever your kids can dream up.

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How to let go of mother guilt
by Kylie at SavvyMumma
Mother guilt is hard to let go of, but you are doing a good job and here are ways to help you learn to let go and be happy.

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29 Ways To Make Money 
by Kylie at Kylie Ofiu
29 ways I have made money from a kid when I got paid to swim, right through to being an at home mum now.

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Sausage Rolls (Potato Pastry) 
by Tara at Gluten Free Hart
Road Testing Sausage Rolls using Potato Pastry. All gluten free & all yum.

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5 reasons why it's OK to wobble 
by Kathy at Yinyangmother
If you seek balance be prepared to wobble. Wobbling shows that you're trying, that you care, and that you are prepared to keep trying even when you look silly.

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And last but not least my own favourite post from April, about running and breathing
You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter as well

Digital Parents Blog Carnival

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I once had a mentor...

Actually I haven't, not ever.

Which not only makes me a bit sad but for a super boring blog post as well.

Ok it makes me a lot sad. It seems that having a mentor means you achieve greatness or at least improve yourself in a great way. Needless to say not having one makes me wonder what greatness I may have achieved...

I have never had a high flying career or soared way above my potential. In fact sometimes I wonder if I have even ever come close to reaching a potential. Which is all pretty disheartening I can tell you.

I suppose if I really scrape the barrel I could come up with a teacher in year ten who guided me through some public speaking and debating competitions. I looked up to her with great admiration and she inspired me to write some wonderful speeches. But on the whole it was all very fleeting and before long she had left the school and I was once again left to my own devices.

Then there was another teacher in years eleven and twelve who gave me some rather encouraging feedback on my writing, but again I feel like I am clutching at straws. He was probably just doing his job more than actually mentoring.


Joining in still with Clairey's challenge

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Tuesday, May 6

In ten years time I will be...

A whopping forty six years old! Which quite frankly just doesn't seem right. Not that I am saying forty six is old but I just struggle to imagine myself as that old. Mind you I also couldn't imagine myself as thirty something year old either, yet here I am.

In ten years time Lovely will in her early twenties and I would like to think moved out of home. Not because I want to get rid of her but because I think that is just the way it should go. Children should move out when they become adults it is all part of the process.

Zany will just be shy of eighteen and if she has completed her final year of high school, then I will be expecting her to move out as well. Leaving just the little Teapot at home for a few more years. All of which right now my little brains struggles to comprehend. I guess it all has to do with living in the moment.

I would like to think that in ten years I will have had at least one book published. Hopefully more. In fact I hope that within the next ten years something miraculous happens and I am a regularly well paid writer.

As much as I love our shoebox sized home, mainly because it is the first property that we owned, in ten years time I hope that it looks a little different with some major renovations having taken place. If the older two have moved out as planned then living in the two bedroom town house won't be so bad. But given how rarely my plans go into fruition I hope in ten years time we have added to our property portfolio.

Perhaps a small mansion type thing over looking some water and surrounded by natural bush land should just about do the trick.

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Alternatively we could just live on the open road and be eternal gypsies, which I must admit is pretty darn enticing. Have I mentioned how excited I am for #ouradventureofalife?


At the end of the day though as long as Mr Awesome is still by my side and my beautiful girls are still happy and healthy then little else will matter to me. Be it in ten days, ten years or even longer, they are the thing that will matter the most for always and ever.

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Monday, May 5

On being a ram

The day five prompt for Clairey Hewitt's challenge is Your zodiac and your thoughts on star signs

I am an, in case you hadn't worked it out, an Aries. And just between you and me I am pretty pleased about it. Over the years I have read quite a bit about Aries and other than it being a ram, there is very little that I haven't liked about this particular sign. 

In fact I like Aries so much two of the girls are also rams. The other is a gemini which is also kind of cool as that is what my Dad was.

I do get that many people put no heed in stars signs and what have you.  To that I say each to their own. I don't go out of my way to read my stars any more, though for a while I did. If I do happen to stumble across them in my day or hear them on the radio as I am driving I can't help but think there is a message in there for me. Though I am often looking for all kinds of messages and signs as I go about my day.

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Sunday, May 4

My Earliest Memory

My strongest early memory would have to be when I was seven and my mum gave me THE best birthday present ever

A baby sister. 

I can still clearly remember sitting on the swings out in the front garden, my mind a whirl of disbelief with the fact that I actually had a brand new baby sister. On my birthday, as requested.

As wonderful memory as it is I am a bit disappointed that I can not remember much before this point. There are a whole seven years of my life that there is just no recollection of. Well there are few little bits and pieces that I can recall, but most of them only stretch back six months from this memory.

My dad said he could clearly remember going for horse and cart ride with his grandparents. As they passed away before he was four he worked out that he was three or under at the time. I would love to be able to say I could remember something from that age but there is just nothing. At all.

Other than the birth of my sister the only other early memories I have are of when I went to England when I was six and half. I was travelling with a friend of my mum's and her family. There was a boy, a few years older than myself, in tears because he had to say good bye to his dad who couldn't make the trip. I found myself thinking how much braver than him I was because I was saying goodbye to my entire family and not shedding a tear.

I also remember on that trip a great Aunt passing away. Having recently said goodbye to my grandfather a few months prior I felt I was an expert in death and grieving and as such tried to pass on my wisdom. Needless to say it was not really well received.

Being the big believer in silver linings that I am I wonder if the silver lining to little memories is what stems my desire to write. I can remember being about fourteen and regularly writing in a journal because it was the only way I could think of saving my memories for later years. Assured that such memories would be the secret to the book I longed to publish.

Joining in with Clairey and day four of her #CHbloginmay challenge
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