Thursday, November 29, 2012

Don't worry about being hit by a bus.

My Mum has always been a stickler for 'decent' undies. They don't have to be expensive (though she prefers them that way) but, well, they should be in 'good nick'.

When she folded up my washing last month she decided I was lacking in appropriate cotton tails, so lacking that she purchased me more and suggested I throw the old ones out, you know, in case I was hit by a bus and caught wearing awfully daggy knickers. Apparently if you are knocked over by 20 tonne of bus, wearing inappropriate underwear would just make matters much worse.

I happily accepted my new bum huggers but decided the old ones still had some wear left too, they are simply too comfortable to hit the bin.

Two months ago I went to the doctor to have a mole on the top of my back removed, he decided that instead of removing it I should see a dermatologist to check a number of other moles also on my shoulders and back. I went today, wearing my most appropriate bra knowing I would have to take my top off.

Dr Dermatology took one swift look at my white, pale and freckle covered skin and said,"right, strip down to just your knickers and get on the table."

Bloody hell. Shite.

I was not planning on this to happen. Mums voice was singing in my head, 'never be caught in shabby knickers.' 

I wasn't meant to be taking off my shorts.

But what can you do?

Not only did I have to lie on the table pretending I was in something even half decent, I had to do this while she checked moles on the inside of my thighs, she even pulled the shabby things down to ensure I have no nasty moles on my bum to be cut out.

Oh the shame.

By the time we were finished I didn't even have the luxury of my decent bra on, just the shabby old threadbare but oh so comfy undies and a few big red spots from the ice gun that she seemed to scatter spray across my back to get rid of a few bits and bobs that are better off not there.

Take my advice dear reader, wear suncream, wear a hat, and don't worry about being hit by a bus, there are  times less physically painful when you might still be caught in your daggy reg grundies.

I must go now and throw out about 38 pairs of undies, while I do, make me feel better, tell me you have in your undie drawers some items that are too comfy to be thrown out...anyone???

Today's Disclaimer: If your name is Meg and you travelled with me in Europe - KEEP YOUR PHOTOS TO YOURSELF.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Color Run: A guide for families

Yesterday we took part in the very first Color Run in the Southern Hemisphere. It was so much fun that I am pretty sure there will be many more happening around Australia.

I was pretty nervous about going, I wasn't really sure how it would be with the girls. I was also worried about it being a "Run" and me not being a runner.

If you are considering taking part in this event, don't think twice, just grab a ticket and do it quickly because 12,500 tickets sold out in Melbourne faster than it takes to cook two minute noodles.

I was concerned about:

1) My lack of fitness - this was certainly not a worry, it isn't really a run, it is completely just fun, most people walked or jogged but even if you are a serious runner this event is not timed, no one cares how fast you can do this track.

2) Paint getting into the eyes of the girls - We packed their swimming goggles and a little pair of sunglasses each and this was perfectly fine. Immy wore her goggles mainly, Popps swapped and changed.

3) Paint getting in their mouth and nose - I did pack bandana's (we had the CanTeen ones) but we didn't use them. I wouldn't bother with them again for the girls, but my good friend Lizzy wore hers to keep the paint out of her hair. Which is a good idea if you don't want paint on your scalp at work the next day.

4) The kids and the distance - Popps is 6 and had no trouble making the distance. Immy is three and never a fan of walking a long way. We pulled out the old Ergo and Mr H carried her about half way until she asked to be let down, Immy ran, danced, rolled and sang the rest of the way. There were a couple of people with prams, these were pretty annoying for other people and would have been really hard to push on the grass of the Flemington racetrack. Also, I would hate to be washing the paint dust out of a pram. Borrow a baby pack and leave the pram at home if you can. Also, as this isn't an event to rush through, little legs can easily run around for awhile and enjoy the space.

5) The afterparty - this is a teenagers heaven, great music, paint being thrown everywhere, prizes being thrown from the stage. My girls loved it and so did lots of other little people. It's a Sunday morning, people were all in a very happy and positive mood and the atmosphere was lovely.

In fact it was such a lovely mosh pit of colour and dance that Immy kept wanting to go in the middle, I was trying to keep her to the outside so she didn't get squashed when the host on stage asked if there were any kids under 12 who wanted to have a dance off. Up the stairs she ran and danced her little self in front of a few thousand people, then at the end of the dance off, she actually won. Hilarious, I now have a three year old with her own Sony Phone. She is pretty impressed with it.

There are food and drinks to buy but the lines were pretty long, by 12.30pm after being there from 7.30am we headed home, going via a bakery (the staff looked at us a bit strangely).

Hopefully we can do this again next year. If we can I will again include a small pack of travel wipes, two muesli bars, some goggles and the car keys. There is a water station half way if you get thirsty. That is really all you need - oh and make sure you are wearing as much white clothing as you can!

Disclaimer: I was there to trial the new Sony Xperia phone because it is water, dust and drop proof. These photos are all taken on the Sony Xperia, if you have any other phone I suggest putting it in a zip lock bag if you want to use it at the paint stations. I was not paid (or expected) to attend, to write about or to mention the event or the phone. My entry ticket and a Sony Xperia phone were gifted to me for taking part and sharing photos on Instagram and twitter for the day.

Disclamier Two: I do know how to spell Colour. This was originally an American event and the organisers are sticking with the American spelling.

Friday, November 23, 2012

My kids are not getting what they want for Christmas

Whaddya mean no iPad?

That's right, neither of them will be getting what they want simply because they are asking Santa for too much. 

Yesterday a lady in a shop asked Immy what she wanted for Christmas, her reply was fast and clear.

"Santa is bringing me an iPad and a Santa Hat".

There was much rolling of eyes and comments of 'kids today' from both of us. 

I then told Immy that Santa does not deliver electronic items to little girls. Her reply was very simple. 

"Well, he does to me." 

But it gets more tricky.

Popps has requested a real live baby. One she can look after herself and it will sleep in her room and she will look after ALL the time. She will dress it, feed it, rock it to sleep, walk it in a pram and provide everything it needs. She will no longer be able to go to school as she will be a Mum and get to stay home.

I have tried to explain to her that Santa makes his toys and that means that he doesn't provide pets or babies, plus he is not a woman and has no eggs in his tummy to allow babies to grow. 

With all the wisdom of being six years old she has told me that Santa is the only person in the world who can really perform miracles. If you write letters, send wishes, be good and ask with all your might then he will deliver. 

As much as I would like to see a miracle of some sort in 2013, this is not one of them.

What miracles are you hoping for next year?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Running for colour

It was a friend going that really made me decide I will do it, and Popps watching the YouTube video and begging to go to this crazy event which made me email Mr H at work and say "What do you think?"

Every time I watch the 90 seconds clip below I cry. I cry because it is people being good, having fun and living.

I cry because they are all there and they don't seem to know that the world has lost yet another amazing person.

Then I think maybe they are all there because they all lost their amazing person.

I always wonder who comes up with these ideas at the round table of ideas, does it go like this:  "Ok, so we will tell everyone to wear white and then we will throw paint colour at them for every km they run of the track and at the end we will just have a massive party throwing paint around and dancing to music...we will make them pay a big fee to be part of it and raise stacks of money." And all the executives nod their heads and mutter, yeah, it will be a sell out, we will do it around the whole world, it's going to be great!

Or maybe it is not the round table and the executives, maybe those types never really get anything done. Instead it is the brave and courageous that get an idea and just go and do it and it is so odd and ridiculous that everyone else wants to be a part of it, because really the world doesn't make much sense anyway.

Whatever it is, today I bought the girls white hats, pulled out back pack carrier for Immy to go in and checked the weather for Sunday morning because I am going to be heading to the Color Run.

I wonder if crying will make the colour run?

Another bloody disclaimer: My fee has been covered by a PR firm for this event, it was not my duty to write about it, I have another task that I will be completing on the day that does not require me blogging about the event either, but it is filling my thoughts and I write about my thoughts, thus it is here. This is not a sponsored post. Also, the event sold out ages ago so it doesn't need promoting.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Christmas Birthday

Life is just too short to go missing out on birthdays.

On the weekend we didn't celebrate Mum's 60th and Dad wasn't here to celebrate his.

We will have a catch up at some stage to recognise Mum's birthday in some way and life will keep going on and with it bring the birthdays of the children which we will always celebrate.

Original Source unknown, let me know if this is yours.

I know the years are few when the girls will actually really want us to organise their parties for them. We are but a few moments from requests for sleep overs and movie parties where Mum and Dad are really just the extras hanging around in the background.

I have been trying to persuade Imogen to have a party away from home this year, anywhere really, anywhere that I didn't actually have to do anything, no set up, no pack up etc. Just arrive and go.

She was against every idea that I suggested and then a few days ago she walked into my room in the morning and straight out said, "Mum, I want a Christmas Party".

And now I am organising a four year olds birthday Christmas party.

Original Source unknown, please let me know if this is yours.

Usually the rule in our house is that the tree goes up after Immy's birthday, this year we can go early.  We can have the tinsel hanging and the baubles shining, the lights flashing and really all I need to do is provide sandwiches in the shape of Christmas trees and make up a cake that looks like Santa for a few little girls to tuck in to.

From Another Lunch

If you have not got yourself on to Pinterest yet (where have you been??) then you should, because you never really have to think again.  Check out my board it is where all these pretty pictures have come from.

I have been pinning up a frenzy. Don't look at this and think I am going to do any of these things, but the ideas are there.

From Another Lunch

Forget lolly bags, we can give take home bags of reindeer food!

Image Source

The party will be on a teeny tiny scale, just a few little kinder friends will join us, but as Dad said, "You only get one life, so get busy living" and as we all know, you really do only turn four once.

Have you ever had to organise a Christmas Birthday? 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Family Moments: a new app from Bupa and an IPOD GIVEAWAY

I use a lot of social media apps and I love them all. When I first started on Instagram I tried to keep it private because I loved using it for all my photos but then it became so easy to share on facebook and twitter and the next thing you know it is open for the entire world to see. That means I don't share what I really want, but what I think is acceptable to the public.

Health Insurer Bupa recently asked me to check out their new app Family Moments. I did think, “here comes another one just like the other ones”. And guess what? It kind of is.  Of course it has quite a bit more though. Private businesses who make good apps really do it properly, they have a lot to lose if they provide something average to their clients. Also, the health industry is a competitive market so it is important to be seen as a leader in as many ways as you can and to provide super accurate data rather than opinion.

The Family Moments app is based on keeping track of your children’s development and has all the usual options to share with your friends and family and show off your children to the world, or if you had a child who wasn’t well everyone would be able to see their developing milestones, with height and growth charts included, (you can see this for perfectly well kids too).

Bupa has included fact sheets on information relating to children’s health that you can read up on, they are in categories according to milestones, toddler, preschool etc.

For me, I am using this as a non-sharing app, other than with Mr H. I have provided only him with access to the account on the Little Huey’s which allows us to both add in photos, comments (called Moment’s) that are just for us. As much as my family is shared publicly via the blog, even more is not shared, yet remembering and capturing these moments is just so important to me, now more than ever. I now have an app where we can drown the stream with images and comments about our girls and not worry about who is seeing them.

The added feature I love is also the TimeCam, which basically shows a little clip of how your child has grown over time and one I haven’t seen in any other app. This is the only section of the app that you need to pay for if you are not a Bupa member. I need to add lots more images of this as we go but it is one that I think we will really love in a year's time. Kids develop so fast sometimes you hardly see it yourself.

The Bupa Family Moments App hit the itunes store last week and to celebrate the launch they have done a couple of things:

1) Asked me to write about what I thought of the app.

2) Given me a brand new 32g IPOD TOUCH Valued at $329 to giveaway to one of you guys.

 This one is mine, you will get your very own.

I thought that it was a worthwhile app to share and also with Christmas around the bend it might be a handy item for someone’s stocking.

To Enter:

Leave a comment below answering the following question:  

My very favourite Family Moment was when.........

1) Australian Residents only
2) Comments are open from the moment the post is live until 8pm FRIDAY 30 NOVEMBER
3) I need you to provide an email address so I can contact you. Do this privately if you wish. 
4) Judges decision is final, there will be no discussion entered into after the winner is announced.
5) Winner will be the person who writes the most interesting/entertaining/creative/funny/intelligent response.
6) The prize is ONE 32g iPod Touch valued at $329,  provided by Bupa.

Disclaimer – I was not paid to write about this app. In my discussions with Bupa it was confirmed with me that they also worked with the Royal Children’s Hospital to develop the Family Moments app so I know it has reputable health professionals providing the information. I did receive an iPod for myself to review the app on and full access to the TimeCam was gifted (usually $4.49) as I am not a Bupa member. All thoughts on this product are my own.

P.S Visit Toushka and Kate; A couple of other bloggers who are sharing their thoughts on the app and have ipods to giveaway too, see what they think and try and win one there too.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Searching for some sticky tape

I am still pretty broken and when something is broken I am the kind of person that needs to work hard and fast to fix it.

I don't really like things that can't be fixed, especially when the things are people, it is much easier to try and help to fix other people. Much harder to fix yourself.

I am a bit lost at the moment, spending too many hours questioning my entire life. Most of it seems pretty pathetic, I often think how busy I am but I am now left wondering just what I do with all my time. I've always wanted my parents to be proud of me, to delight in what I was doing, on reflection I am not really sure I do all that much. I work a little but I don't save lives, I don't rescue people, I don't provide a community service to anyone.

I blog a bit, and it's fun and an enjoyable past time, but again it really isn't going to affect anyone other than me.

I parent. I do this as well as I can (lately I could be guilty of being less than marvellous) but mostly I think I do an alright job with the parenting gig. I am a wife, not always supportive and not known as one to iron my husbands shirts or be holding his slippers and pipe at the door as he arrives home from work, but not all bad.

That's about it.

I feel like I need to do more, I need to do something, be someone, fix something, save the world or at least one person just for the day.

I need something to be my sticky tape to help put me back together but I just don't know where the sticky tape is at the moment or exactly how much I am going to need.

Monday, November 12, 2012

And how is your Mum?

I have lost my Dad, it's utter crapville.

My Mum has lost much more.

Mum has lost the love of her life, the person she has shared everything with for over 40 years, after meeting as teenagers they haven't made many decisions alone. They have shared thousands of secrets and confided in each other the way those who have such a blessed relationship can do.

My Mum has lost the person that you share those little moments with, the laughs and sniggers at stuff on tv, the secret eye rolls that only the two of you understand in social situations, the person that you are happy to travel anywhere in the world with. The person to share your fears with.

Mum has lost the light bulb changer, the flat tyre fixer, the tree chopper downer and the heavy bags carrier. She has lost the person to share a cuppa tea with and the man to hold her on days when you feel life has served you a shit sandwich with a urine chaser.

How is Mum?

Mum is ok.

She has filled Dad's compost heap with the flowers that are now all dead.

Sometimes people visit and when they leave they say 'call if you need anything'.

There are others who call Mum and say 'exactly what can I do for you today?' This second bunch of people, I am relying on them more than they know, I know they are the people who will be there for the long haul well past the last card arriving. There are also the people that just turn up at the door with food, lovingly cooked and ready to be eaten and the lady who arrived with toilet paper, panadol and coffee, there are friends who arrive in old work clothes and just sit and pull out weeds from the garden, just being there doing stuff, pottering around and being available, they make no demands they are just there.

Precious people indeed.

There are people who give support by giving what they can. Like the hairdresser who opened after hours so Mum didn't have to sit with other people, the Indian restaurant that cooked a special dish when Mum wasn't really eating.

The kindness is everywhere.

All of these people, they probably have no idea how wonderful and how important they are to us right now. Every one of them.

They are a reminder to me of the wonderful friendships my parents have cherished and the community they enjoy being a part of.

To answer the question though, how is Mum REALLY?

My Mum is pretty amazing, she is pretty sad, a little angry and taking one day at a time to cope with the loss of the man she shared two thirds of her life with. They have shared their entire adult lives together so it is pretty daunting to take those next steps alone.

But I see glimpses. Little cracks that allow the tiniest bit of light. Just enough to confirm to me that with all the support and help from her friends and community Mum will make it.

Last week Mum asked me to go online and buy her a chain saw. It arrived in the mail and my uncle taught her how to use it. My Mum is just five foot one (on tippy toes) she may be gutted about this new life alone but she kept looking at this tree she hated, so she grabbed that chain saw and she cut that damn tree down.

This weekend my Mum turns 60. No one knows what to buy her, how to celebrate and what to say.

I think I might get her a hammer, and engrave it with "You're Smashing".

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 19

Day 19 begins

I miss my Dad. So so so much.

I miss him so much that I just don't know what to do with myself. I float around looking half normal, half functioning, even well functioning if you don't look too close. If you don't check you wouldn't know that I am too petrified to go to the supermarket in case a school mum sees me and asks "how was your weekend?" which is all it takes for me to burst into tears.

Unless you live here you might not see that cooking a meal is more than I can manage by the end of the day. So those delightful people who have made me a meal they have no idea just how grateful we all are.

The last place I saw my Dad was the place I work. I am yet to go back in to work and I am not sure how it will go. I know I will still take a look back in the cafe just to check he is not there. Like a small child who thinks this dead stuff is just a game, a game where the dead person eventually jumps out and the game is finally over and everyone just goes back to being normal.

Immy has asked if Poppy will send her a card with a star on it while he is busy up in the sky. Popps doesn't believe people become stars in heaven when they are dead she believes they become ghosts. Who am I to tell either of them what happens when you're dead because no one can tell me the real truth either.

I sit up stupidly late each night trying to think of how I will crawl through this grief. I don't have the answer tonight. Again.

What I do instead is spend hours looking on at houses that I think are filled with happiness. Places that just might be the answer to my sadness. Would moving to a lovely house in the country help? Is a tree change the solution here? There is always that minor worry of employment that keeps us from making any changes of course, but should we just risk it? Throw caution to the ghosts and see where we end up in 12 months time perhaps?

I don't know. I don't have any answers. Best we just make them all up as we go.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad