Friday, October 28, 2011

The Sibling Invite

I am in full party plan mode right now, no not the Tupperware party plan mode, kids birthdays.

I love kids birthday parties and I am happy for the kids to have a party each year if we can manage it. Really the kids have very little they want.  A cake and being able to blow out the candles, friends over to play and a lolly bag to hand out at the end.

This year my dilemma is the sibling invite. We worked out that Immy had between 6-8 little friends to invite, but she was extremely strong about wanting NO BOYS. She has even told the three boys in the crèche room whom she detests for some reason,  “You are not coming to my party today.” At two, she has no idea what this whole party business is really about and certainly has no concept of time. Mum is talking party, so therefore, a party must be sometime, why not today.

Anyway, if we invite eight little girls, who will each arrive with a parent (or two) plus us, we have 20 in the house. My panic levels will be setting in.

I don’t know all these kids and their families but I am guessing they all have at least one or two (or more) siblings. If the party is on a Sunday, do I invite them all? 

If the sibling were a baby I would expect it just comes along anyway, but do I need to put the babies name on the invite to let them know that I don’t mind the baby coming along?  Did I mention I don’t know them all – I don’t know the names of the babies. All I know is that Immy likes playing in the sandpit with the child and that makes them best friends.

If we allow Popps to have a friend at the party too, is just one ok, and what if it is a sibling of another child and we didn’t have all the other siblings?

Or do I just hit the kitchen and start making fairy bread, open the doors wide, and welcome everyone? It is a party after all.

How do you manage the sibling invite, and if you have done this a few times before, please fill me in on the politics of the preschool birthday party.

Plus, if you are capable of making the cakes above can you please upload a tutorial so I can pass it on to someone and pay them to make these for me. I found this image on Pinterest, where I am spending why too much time.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

My new BFF

Last week I felt a lot younger than I usually do.

I would like to tell you it was because of some new amazing diet I am on and that some yoga and daily exercise was the answer, but my BFF was much better than that.

Thanks to my new BFF (Best Friend the Focus) I felt like a P plater not a Mummy taxi.

She can take me places the 4WD has to drive on by.

Usually I can be found driving our family wheels around town. Complete with stickers given out by doctors and gymnastics teachers stuck all over the windows and sultanas crammed into the seats.

Small cars just don’t really cut it when you have kids. Along with night club queues, you give up the sports model car when you realise you need to have your knees around your ears to drive to get the baby seat in.

The Focus and I, we were a match. Together we cruised around town and she was so kind that she parked herself into the car park at the push of a button. I took my hands off the wheel and watched her drive herself. Amazing.

She is small and zippy and red, and if you press another button she will even warm your butt for you. Really! Cos apparently these days people can’t even do that themselves, I am not complaining. My new BFF never complained, never even asked for a drink the whole week, but I must say, she is not a good listener. She listens when you talk, but doesn’t really hear what you say, (very much like Mr H) either that, or she really hates Jon Faine and ABC Radio. Whenever I requested 774 on the voice detection thingo,  I got either 1124 or 740, rarely did she take me to the station I wanted.

Mr H decided it was an ok relationship for me to continue with, but complained the booty on this lady was no good. So I tested it out myself and have to admit he was right. With only the stroller and three (packed) bags of shopping you don’t fit much else in. So if you are still at a stage of taking the ‘OMG so effing heavy Phil and teds double pram’ with you, then good luck getting much else in. 

I let Mr H have a little drive so I could try and check out some buttons. So Many Buttons!

I loved driving this car around and could pretty much convince myself I don’t need a big car anymore. I really don’t want to fit the dog in, or other people’s kids, or the big pram. If only we could have been friends for longer though, there are a lot of things in this car that I never really found as I just didn’t have the time to drive that much last week. This is certainly a car with lots of little extras that take more than a week to test out. 

What kind of relationship do you have with your car?


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Win a Mag

It's pretty, it's out today, and you can grab a copy just by leaving a comment on my facebook page within the next 24 hours (chances are good too, hardly anyone reads my facebook page).


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tips for getting babies to sleep from a Mum who has come out the other side.

The other night Immy woke early, around 4.30am, she screamed out so loudly that Popps woke too. At 4.40am our bed was full. Mr H got out and went to the spare room. Popps went back to sleep in 3 minutes and Immy decided to party on.

As I lay there trying to encourage her to sleep I realised it had been weeks if not months since the last time I had been woken through the night, when it was not due to snot, middle ears or barking coughs.

I touched wood all day not to jinx myself as I thought, “I think we have made it”. We have got through the sleepless nights.

They may still take awhile to get to sleep, but once they are, both the Little Huey’s will, 95% of the time, sleep til morning.

I still remember crying as Mr H went off to night shift and I knew I would be up all night. There were days I thought I would never ever sleep all night again.

There were months on end of struggling to get through the day. Weeks of eating takeaway food or straight from the freezer for nights on end, and I don’t mean meals I had made and frozen, I mean pre packaged food straight from a packet.

As Popps was from the scream-all-day-party-all-night variety of baby, there were also countless apparatus purchased that promised to settle babies, to soothe them and prepare them for sleep. We would have been better off putting those thousands of dollars to a nanny that allowed us to sleep.

I am sharing the next image in the interests of showing how bloody tired we were. I look totally awful. This was on a holiday to Freycinet in Tasmania. I should have looked relaxed and happy. It was freezing, we hadn't slept for weeks. We returned home with the decision that we would never have another child. Ever.

I hope this post gives some hope. Sleepless nights will end. 

One day. 

It may take a couple of years to get there.

This is the only way Popps slept for a bloody long time.

If you are walking the floor all night, pushing the pram around the streets in the wee hours of the morning? Eating frozen lasagna again tonight? It’s ok. It won’t last.

Here is a list, from a mum who has certainly been there, been on the phone to the baby sleep centre and had the baby checked out by doctors to confirm she is normal. Here is my list for those that are currently looking for the sleep solution.

  •   The CD of the washing machine  and vacuum noises will not work.
  •    The $500 highchair that swings and sings – it wont work either (let me know if you want to buy mine though – going cheap!)
  •  Playing the one song on repeat for 4 hours – it can work and if you get even one hours sleep you will be happy
  •  If you have not given in to the dummy – get on it! Babies like to suck, that is how they self soothe, do not fight it, if you do you only have yourself to blame for no sleep, not the baby.
  • Feeding to sleep is a good thing. If possible, lie down yourself (think Miranda) close your eyes and nap.
  • Do not listen to other Mums who have babies that sleep, they can’t help you because they don’t know how tired you are and that you have already tried everything they do. They are just lucky, they don’t have secret powers and you are not doing anything wrong.
  • Do not read the books. The Contented Little Baby will make you The Crazy Little Mummy.
  • Co-sleeping works, especially with toddlers, don’t fight this one either, and don’t stress, you will not find your teenage son still co-sleeping with you in ten years, no matter what the old folk say about rods and backs.
  • It is highly unlikely that the Bumbo will assist you. (Also going cheap)
  • Baby sitters do not really like the scream all night baby, they will ALL call you to come home, even the grandparents, so planning nights out is not recommended. Try a daytime sitter and get an afternoon nap instead, be quick, some last less than an hour.
  •  Again, if you find something that works for you, like feeding, dummies, co-sleeping, singing, patting, rocking in prams, babywearing (my fav for Immy) than go with it. Do not listen to the rods and backs rubbish. 
  • Babies will need assistance to get to sleep, some just need lots more than others. 
  • We broke every rule in the good parenting books and guess what – all is still ok!

 If you have any other real tips, add them to the comments section.

and Good luck!

Monday, October 24, 2011

What do you do with your old books?

Useful art made from old books.

I threw out some books.

I spent hours with our bookshelf on the weekend. It had become a dumping ground of anything that was once a tree.

Kinder craft, receipts, photos that never made it to an album, books that were never to be read again.

I emptied the entire thing to the floor and knew I had to cull some. I have no problem culling books usually. My novels I happily give away, to me, life is too short to read the same books over and over and there are just too many good ones to read.

Mr H likes to keep his, and we have very different reading choices, so I had to still keep a lot.

Then there were a stack of books that had no future. Like the Cheap Eats, 1999, The Age Good Food Guide, 2001, Lonely Planet Books from 1997 and books about what to buy for your new baby.  They looked at me sadly.

What do you do with these? No one wants old news. No one needs incorrect and out-dated information.

Interesting. Image from here

But throwing books out, even Economics in Australia, 1992, just feels wrong.  A bit naughty and disrespectful.

Novels I have no trouble finding homes for, but what of the information book that becomes out-dated. What do you do with yours?


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Talented People

The other day I was reading some stuff for work and was struck by how some people just seem to know so much, the person was a doctor, speaks three languages and specialised in all sorts of areas of medicine. Clearly someone who puts in the time to learn things and do things.

Yesterday we headed into the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and again I was astounded by the talent held by one person.

To play an instrument as a professional would take years of practice, each player was tremendous, but the conductor was something.

Dressed as a clown I expected he was just dressing colourfully for the mainly under 8s in attendance.

Then he did a few little tricks and on went the show.

Throughout the performance he played a number of instruments himself. Acted as a clown, threw in a few balloon tricks and entertained.

At the end of the performance we were able to grab a photo with Melvin Tix and I asked him, 

How many instruments do you play?

He answered with

"I am not sure" 

"Most of the percussion, lots of string, some wind instruments, oh and piano of course, I think I can play a tune on a few more."

Melvin Tix is traveling from Norway so I guess he speaks a few languages too.

But to obtain such skills and and still be able to entertain a theatre of kids. 

True Talent

Imagine the hours and hours of practice. I am easily impressed by people who have the dedication and persistence to keep on learning and to share their skills with the world. Be it as doctors, musicians, artists, or engineers. 

Some days I feel I have been a success if I've completed the washing, the floors are clean and the kids are fed. Really, I would much rather be enjoying the skills of talented people. I had never been to see any symphony orchestra before and can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. I also thought the prices were pretty good, much cheaper than some of the other big name performers strutting their stuff on the kiddie concert circuit.

Who have you met or read about lately that just blew you away with their talents? Or, are you yourself one of those amazing people with multiple tricks up your sleeve?

My friend Segovia also attended this performance with Mr 4, who has autism, she has written about how other families with autistic children may find the show. Head over and have a read. 

I was invited to attend this event by the MSO, and they covered the cost of our family ticket. I was not required to write about the event, but if Melvin Tix is in town, I recommend you take the kids along. 


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The two year old and the swimming lesson

She moves quick.

I have now taken the plunge and take Immy for swimming lessons.

She had to have a swimming 'test' and for a brief moment I was doing cartwheels in the air (in my mind only) as the teacher discussed how advanced she was for a child who had never had a lesson, that she would be placed with the children a year above her, yadda yadda, there would be NO NEED FOR ME TO GET IN THE POOL. How happy I was for her, actually, for me. I have avoided these lessons so far due to my hatred of getting in the pool for lessons.

Just one final test before we confirm her class.

The step of trust.

All little Immy had to do was stand on the safety platform until the teacher turned around, about three seconds. 
Super Immy Fish jumped in. (this is actually what she was calling herself)

Fail One.

Take two: Immy promises the teacher she will never jump in again and nods obediently. Followed by Super Immy Fish doing a sly little duck dive under the side rail and then going to the bottom.

Fail Two. 

Last Chance. 

Teacher tells her off and explains she must stay on the platform until the teacher turns around. 

First chance she gets and the kid is on the bottom of the pool again kicking her little legs like crazy and getting nowhere.

Thus she goes back to the class where a parent must get in.

I now am stuck with classes singing wheels on the bus and humpty dumpty, where some kids still scream for the whole lesson.

But worse.

I bought some new bathers, all black of course, one piece, total cover up, the type that tie up around my neck. However it seems that the top of them is a great place to grab on to when you are trying to swim and not drown. And to then pull down on, taking my bathers to the bottom of the pool.

As I shiver my way out of the pool at the end of the lesson, she asks me "When does my lesson start?".

Do you get in the pool? Love it or hate it? Any tips?

Monday, October 17, 2011

I have to go shopping now.

I really did think I shrunk a few of the girls tops. I bought them both a couple of summer t-shirts last month and this week at the gym creche I thought one was looking particularly short.

I called my Mum to tell her the brand wasn't that good and had shrunk with one wash.

Then last night Popps wanted to check (again!!) if she had grown.

Ideally, she would like to do this on a daily, if not hourly basis.

I explained that she would never ever grow if she kept measuring herself, and while she looked at me a little bit worried, she got Mr H to measure her anyway.

She has grown over an inch in just 12 weeks.

Immy jumped in next and has grown nearly two inches.

Are you ever amazed at just how quickly kids really do grow before your eyes?

With Christmas and birthdays coming along soon I would prefer to give them some clothes as gifts. So if you happen to see some girls out and about with ankle freezer pants and cropped tops on, don't worry, it won't be for long.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Grateful for sand and vacuuming

Maxabella Loves runs a blog link up every week where people link a post they have written about something they are grateful for.

Today I am grateful for quite a lot, but mainly for the in-laws.

This morning they arrived and wheelbarrowed a cubic tonne of sand around the house to the sandpit. 

This will bring the girls hours and hours of playtime and I have been wanting it for a few weeks as all the kids that visit like to play there.

I had to take off to the kids dance classes and my MiL realised I was struggling with my super sore (not responding very well to nurofen and codeine) back.

When I arrived home an hour later my floors were swept, mopped and vacuumed and my kitchen was shiny with the dishwasher whizzing. 

I can't tell you how happy this made me. Though the sand was stomped through the house with much excitement within minutes of our return, for a few brief moments, my floors, they were perfect.

For in-laws, today I am very grateful.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lounge room dancing. It's a dangerous sport.

No, this isn't me, just in case you were wondering if I made it to "So you think you can dance".

Some nights, post creche,  work and a fast meal, we all let loose in the Huey house and crank up some old tunes on the iPod and have a family lounge room disco.

Last night  we introduced The Little Hueys to some songs from Grease and then finished with a twirl and a kick to Footloose.

Anyone who has been reading for awhile knows I have a dodgy back, one that has taken nearly two years to be get back to some level of normalcy.

And with one rendition of "born to hand jive, ba-by" I am again scoffing down the voltaren and nurofen.

Tomorrow I will be seeking out a physio, ortho or massage, whatever I can get first, I will even take the massage chair at the pedicure place if I have to.

And I will be declining all the dance party invites I get from now on.*

*as if I actually get invites to real dance parties.

Image from here


Thursday, October 13, 2011

You may not even know that you have won a giveaway

Do you enter lots of giveaways on blogs? Me, yes certainly.

If so, you may be one of the many that miss out on your actual prize, many a post I have read of a giveaway being redrawn, simply because the winner can not be tracked down.

Just like this one.

Sorry Lisa Walton, I blogged, I tweeted, I had people retweet and I facebooked looking for you, with no links to your comments I can't find you.

In the interests of others who unknowingly miss out on competitions they win, here is some advice.

1)  If you want to leave a comment as Anonymous, then email the blogger and tell me that was your entry.
2) Link an email to your blogger profile.
3) If you have not done either of these things, then leave an email address, a phone number, a twitter handle, anything really in your comment.
4) If facebook is your thing, than enter via facebook if the giveaway allows it (many do).

For those that don't know what I mean, see this bit of your blogger profile, and mine includes the email option, that allows people to email me if they need to tell me about a prize I have won - which is pretty handy.

However, moving along, I have redrawn the prize for the Hallmark Recordable Story Book, actually I had to redraw twice as the other winner won again, but finally it is Cat that is the winner of the second book...who has a blog with a contact email on it, and may also be too busy to reply due to breaking her leg just as she is about to give birth to her baby, can you imagine???