Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why do people abuse children?

I have been reading news articles about a little girl who was killed. The case is still in the courts and has a long way to go, there is still a lot of information not available  and it is unknown who actually killed her.

Reading each article is really affecting me. The more I read the sadder I become.

Hayley, the little girl was the same age as Immy, just two.

How could people do this, how could people watch?

Imagine the life she lived at all.

Imagine the constant abuse she endured.

I just don’t get it.

It breaks my heart. It makes me feel helpless.

From The Age article today is this snippet:

He said Robert (the father) made Hayley stand in the middle of the kitchen until late at night to punish her for misbehaving.
Robert had later gone up to Hayley ''and kicked her feet clean out from under her so that she has fallen straight back onto the back of her head''.

''He looked like he kicked hard enough to knock me out,'' the brother said. ''She was crying then and got back up.

''Rob told her: 'I'm your dad and I can do whatever I want. If you think other people are mean, then you should see how mean I can be!''

The girlfriend claimed in her statement that Robert continually slapped Hayley during the night if she moved or looked around. She said that when taking the girl from the room, Robert deliberately bumped Hayley into the walls and anything that got in the way.

''He tried to stand her up on the table but her knees kept buckling … She was crying out 'Daddy, Daddy','' she said.

''While he was standing her up, he full-on shoved her back and her head into the wall which the kitchen table is around. This caused her head and back to make a crack in the wall and caused Hayley to scream.''

The full article is on The Age site.

If you need assistance or know of any children being abused the Australian Children’s Foundation assists children of abuse. They have phone numbers to call and ways to assist. Use them if you have to and donate to them if you can. Or sign the petition they are currently running for a national awareness campaign into child abuse.

Image from weheartit there was no way I was googling images of abused children, it would send me to troppo.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Two days

In two days I will have to tick the box that makes me closer to 40 than 30.


Surely I am not that old already?

Mr H is older than me, so perhaps he is going into early Alzheimer's, because last night he said as we have nothing on this Thursday he might take the girls to the snow.


You have 48 hours left Mr H to get shopping, baking and wrapping.

Thankfully my bestest girlfriends are always there when I need them. The pic above has arrived in the post and the wrapping is so pretty I will want to keep it to look at a bit longer.

I don't know why but I do love beautiful wrapping paper.

Monday, June 27, 2011

zoo days

There was movement at the station, for the word had got around that Melbourne Zoo was now free for kids.

Not sure how it helps those of us with a membership, but if you are thinking of going to the zoo these holidays I say, get your lunch packed and go. And this is not a sponsored review or PR encouraged posts.

When we lived in the mouse house our membership to Melbourne Zoo was pretty much just our ticket to go and play in a giant backyard. We went there often, sometimes just for 45 minutes to let Popps have a run around on the lawns.

Mr H and Popps know that place so well they could easily be tour guides.

Immy, not so much. She hasn't had to be taken so often. We have a bigger yard, a bigger house, more space. So in a way she has missed out a bit on trudging around the zoo and some time with her Dad one on one, as he is usually the one taking them.

This week Mr H has some time off, he dropped Popps at Kinder and headed off to the zoo with Immy.

She had the best time, she wandered around deciding where they would head to. She climbed everything possible and sat for as long as she needed to watch each animal. At bed time she asked me if I like the stripey tigers, the gorillas or the dinosaurs the best. I am not exactly sure which ones were the dinosaurs.

The Orangutan enclosure is wonderful, most days they are up the top and will really interact with people. Some days the zoo staff are there and we have made play things for them including hiding sultanas in pine cones or adding two sultanas to a bag of shredded wood shavings.

Here is Immy connecting with one of the younger ones, playing hand games between the glass.

The butterfly house is also wonderful, this butterfly crawled all the way up her dress, under her arm to her face, before she was screaming get it off! It is warm in there, and a good spot to sit and warm up in winter. Wearing bright clothes seems to help attract the butterflies to you.

Melbourne Zoo has also had two baby elephants born there in the last year or so, we have been along to see them as soon as they were on show and they are amazing. You can get pretty close, but I am not sure if sitting with your legs over the fence is encouraged too much, in this shot they are not too close, but there are other sections where you are much closer to some of the larger and older elephants.

Melbourne Zoo really has changed a lot over the last few years. The seal enclosure is also pretty fantastic and I have no idea why but all small kids are like magnets to the Meerkats. The glass fronted enclosure allows them to see straight in and watch every movement.

If you haven't already, check it out.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

A footy trip brings things back to normal.

I recently had a discussion with Mr H about the way he and Popps were speaking to each other. I had noticed a change in their once very tight relationship.

She had started choosing not to go with him to Bunnings, which is saying something for her, especially missing out on the craft table and the salmonella sausage sizzle. She declined a trip to the zoo with him, which was formerly like their comfy backyard, they would just hang out with the seals and butterflies and stroll about, they had favourite places that only they knew about. 

We got a call on Thursday to see if we could meet Mr H's family at the footy. I suggested Mr H take Popps on his own as Immy wouldnt last that late at night.

When we asked if she was keen to go, Popps was really excited. Conditions were she needed to be asleep by 7.30pm that night to be allowed to go.

7.31pm and she who hardly sleeps was in bed, eyes shut and silent as a mouse.

They got the 6pm train into the city and walked to the MCG. They climbed the stairs to the heavens for their seats and she sat with her cousins and laughed and cheered for a team she didn't know, the winning one, I tried to get her to cheer for the Bombers but have failed to convince her that this is a very noble path to take in life.

It was midnight when they walked in the door, after a long wait for a train in the late cold night. I had left out her coat, hat, boots and gloves to wear so I knew she was as warm as could be.

And though she didn't get to bed until 12.30am she was truly happy.

In the morning she chose to skip her dance class and stay home with her Dad, they slept on the couch watching tv until 10.30am, had a late breakfast, worked in the veggie garden then went out to walk the dog and go to the park while Immy slept.

It seems they have a new thing to call their own. An activity just for big sisters who can stay up late and walk long distances to footy grounds when you miss the tram. A place that Mum doesn't know about and they have their own rules. Where lollies are eaten and Subway is in the healthy diet pyramid. A place where (sometimes) demanding two year olds are not part of the picture.

Things are back to normal.

Do you have activities that you try and do with just one child from time to time? Have they changed?

Friday, June 24, 2011

The school decision is done and dusted.

If I had ten bucks for every hour I have used up thinking about where we send Popps to school I would probably be able to afford to send her to the most prestigious digs in town. I have trudged around all the local schools, sent in applications and flipped between Catholic or State education. I have attended lectures from early childhood experts and investigated the various options with Montessori and Steiner.

Finally we made the decision that the State primary was the best place for her.

We enrolled, they accepted.

When we went there a month ago Popps told me she wasn’t really keen to go there every single day.

I explained that I thought she would love it and mentioned some other children who would be joining her.

She was still not impressed.

This week she got a letter from the school with a certificate: Excellence Award for Preps 2012 and her name printed big and bold.

She has already coloured it in, put it on the fridge and asked when her first day is. Next year seems like a very long way away for a kinder kid.

As for me, I never expected choosing a school to be such a ridiculously difficult decision. At least I did manage to book in to high school at the same time (what with waiting lists and all that silliness) so I am now finished with looking at schools. Phew.

Has booking into schools consumed you too?


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When a 'nearly' domestic goddess travels

As a domestic goddess in the making it is important that I (and the family) take a little trip every now and then.

When taking a mini break away from home it is important that your accommodation meet certain basic requirements and as much as Mr H wants that to be a tent and a bonfire, I have decided that a domestic goddess just would never do camping.

I also accept I am a fusspot when leaving home and prefer the following as a minimum.

- a King sized bed
- immaculate linen of the highest quality. Preferably white.
- fluffy white towels
- infinite amounts of hot water.
- a decent sized powerful hair dryer
- indoor heated pool, preferably with spa

In addition, if the little Hueys are along they need constant entertainment.

We all made a compromise and even though it might be winter and Melbourne had severe weather warnings, we went to the beach.

To a caravan park.

But not the one of my childhood where you needed to run to the toilet block from your van and then run naked out of your shower cubicle to put more 10 cent coins in the hot water machine while all the time wearing your thongs to prevent foot fungi viruses.


This is my caravan park.


Images that are not mine (the ones we are in) are poached from the Bellarine Big 4 Facebook page.

And, no, this is not a paid review, there are no giveaways or deals. Just another place that I recommend those with small kids take a break.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Winner or not, this is funny.

I am always super slack at getting the winners announced from my competitions.

Forgive me my tardiness and smile at this image that Lousia shared on twitter the other day.

Winner of The Sharpay DVD was number 2: Operation Hot Mother

Winner of the Melbourne Museum pass was Number 6: Christie from Home Grown.

Please send me an email with your postal address and I will organise the rest.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You may like to call me Maria Von Trapp.

I have moments when I decide I am actually a sewer. I ignore the fact that every other time I have had this feeling a lot of resources have gone into a project only for it never to be worn by anyone.

Besides this, I recently was the winner of a sewing book and decided that the no pattern girls twirly skirt was so easy even I could whip it up.

After I folded and cut and then displayed the fabric ready for sewing it was clear that this was on its way to being the domestic godess failure case study number 2. So I turfed it and started again.

I used the world's simplest pattern (from my head) of sewing a tube and adding some elastic around the waist.

But I was out of fabric, so remembering my favourite movie, The Sound of Music, I used up some material I had once bought to make some curtains (never made them of course).

Popps loved her new skirt. As long as no one refers to it as curtain fabric I expect this skirt will be worn heaps and heaps. It was also such a success for her that I think I could possibly buy some lovely fabric and spend more than the seven minutes this one took, to finish the inside seams nicely.

Has curtain fabric made it into your or your kids clothes wardrobe?

Monday, June 13, 2011

1980s dinner party

Remember I told you I was going to have an 80s dinner party?

The Groupies came over and we had a ball.

Mr H bought beer, no fancy boutique beer back then, it was long necks and the options were VB or Melbourne. We also had Mango Daiquiris, they were mighty fine.

I did some research and was surprised to learn that avocado only became available at the local supermarket in the early 80s. As did French Dressing!

We enjoyed tasty prawn cocktails (iceberg lettuce was the only type available back then too) chicken snitzels baked in cream (Mum tells me I should have made them from scratch as they were not available from the butcher back then, but I had to cheat), a tossed salad with even more iceberg lettuce and finished with chocolate mousse that was loaded with Cointreau.

We listened to Madonna and Cindy Lauper and some Boy George, but none of us heard it, we were all talking, eating and laughing too much.

The Groupies went to great effort to dress up and we had a variety of outfits to show off. As the hostess I was dressed as the housewife. I remember my Mum proudly wearing this dress to the local Catholic Ball, the highlight of the rural yearly calendar. I also put the Cedel hairspray to great use...remember that? Well you can still get it and it still smells the same and has super powers when you need some height in your bouffant. Just add a few hair combs.

Enjoy the puffy sleeves.

A guest was able to find a "gorgeous frock" on eBay, she matched the purple with a strong green eyeshadow.

Mr H was feeling very much the 80s TV star with this foul leather jacket.

There were long denim skirts and jackets, skinny ties, white socks with black shoes, bad brown leather jackets, taffeta and some major power suits also worn that night.

Depending on your age the 80s remind you of many things, for some it was lots of green eyeshadow, others it was samboy chips shrinkies turned into ear rings.

What was your eighties like?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Playing in Melbourne

I cant tell you how many times we have been to the Melbourne Museum and Scienceworks.

And if you live in Melbourne you are mad not to have a yearly pass to the museum.

A few years back when we still lived in the mouse house, Popps was having her second birthday, it falls just after Christmas and she had no need or room for more 'stuff'. We suggested to Nana Christmas that a pass would be an excellent present for Popps and would allow us to get out of the mouse house and play at the museum and scienceworks more often.

Nana Christmas has made it an annual present and our whole family has really benefited.

Remember we had our Staycation? Saving money was much easier when we had two days, one at the museum and one at Science works already checked off. 

Forget the children's gallery after your first visit, there is so much at both places that they really love.

Some children love the fart machine. Others the dinosaurs. Immy loves the animal room (you just need to see it to know what I mean). Popps loves the real giant squid, the bugs, putting her head in the ant colony and especially Pharlap. Immy is also a fan of the nude statues of people.

At Scienceworks Mr H and his friends have been known to scare away small children as they compete to see who is the fastest, strongest and most coordinated. Racing Cathy Freeman seemed to be one of their most competitive moments.

This week the girls came along to a blogging function I went to at the museum and were captured by the photographer being all creative and completing works of art that I will throw in the bin  treasure forever .

I strongly advise anyone visiting Melbourne with kids to check out both of these places. But I also have been given the chance to giveaway an annual family pass too.

If you would like it, just leave me a comment telling me you are keen to get it. And for more information about it, visit the Melbourne Museum website.

I will get to choose a comment, so leave your remark before 15 June at 5pm.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Let the hounds run

A workie sent me a link to have a laugh at.

It is simply a collection of photos of Basset Hounds running.

Poor Hounds, can only imagine how wonderful I would look if someone was ever to catch me running at full speed.

Hope you enjoyed those, head over here to see the full page of images.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sharpay's Musical Adventure, a real review.

I love a good musical and have already admitted to doing the Sound of Music tour when I visited Salzburg.

I secretly jumped at the chance to see a new one but should have known that I am not the target market for the latest Disney episode following on from the success of High School Musical.

So today's post is brought to you by Oldest Niece Huey aged nearly ten. I asked her to write up a review under a pseudonym and tell us what she thought of Sharpay's Musical Adventures.

Bubble on Top writing her media review

Review written by: Bubble on Top.

Bubble on Top is nearly ten years old. She likes drawing, football and running.

Bubble on top liked the movie because sharpey pulled a trick on her boss by saying "bald scalp."

Bubble on top didn't like the movie because it was to pinky for me and to girley.

All of the sporty boys in my class, wouldn't like this movie because it is for girls.

If I had a sleepover and my friends and I were bored I might watch the movie.

Check the preview here.

The words above are written by Bubble on Top herself, they will also be used as part of her school homework so I have not altered a word.

I also asked Niece Huey aged nearly 7 what she thought of the movie. She let me know it was great, she really liked it and was looking forward to watching it again.

I also asked Popps what she thought, and she said, I am not sure, I think I liked it.

The lowdown on this film, is that there isn't much to it. It is light, fluffy, with a rich spoiled girl as the main character, an adorable couple of puppies and some music. But this is a wonderful safe film, by that I mean there is no swearing, no horrible violence, no scary bits and has the usual happy ending.

This movie will be coming out on DVD pretty soon. But of course you can just leave a comment here or on my facebook page to let me know you would like to win a copy.

You have until 5pm Friday 10 June to leave a comment and be in the running to have a free copy of this DVD sent to you.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of the DVD courtesy of Disney Channel via Aussie Mummy Bloggers. No financial payment was offered nor accepted for this post. All opinions expressed are purely my own.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Domestic Goddess Failure: case study 1

If you have read the about me blurb at the left it mentions I am a 'domestic goddess failure'.

What does that mean exactly?

It means when Mr H was forced by the girls to pick a cake from the AWW birthday cake book, you all know the ones I mean, he picked this one:

It requires a special metal bowl that you cover in glad wrap fill with ice cream, freeze, then remove from that special bowl and use lots of ice magic.

I dont have that special bowl.

I dont have time to work with melting icecream and grated chocolate and all the special little tweaks this cake needs.

But never say this Mummy does not deliver a hand made cake to celebrate birthdays at the Huey House.

Da Dahhhh!

Echidna in all his glory.

And healthy too, no need for all those extra chocolate biscuit sticks.

So that dear readers is just one of my domestic goddess failures.
Hope you all laughed as much as we did eating it.