Thursday, 22 November 2012

Gorgeous gifts for kids under $25

Ah Christmas Time, it's one of my favourite times of the year.  One of the most stressful times of the year, but still one of my favourites never the less.

The thought of trying to get to the shops either with, or without the kids, or without them seeing what I'm buying is what generally sends me into a tail spin, and that's usually after doing at least 6 laps of the never ending carpark - argh!!!!

Although I generally try really hard not to do too much blatant publicity here for Purely4kids - today I'm going to.  And possibly one day next week too :)

I've found a few gorgeous little numbers for under $25 which I think are just beautiful - and better yet, all designed right here in Aus.


1. Beautiful dragonfly shoes by Miss Poppitt
2. Soft and silk baby romper by Wilson & Frenchy
3. Cool and comfy singlet and brief set by Blue Belle
4. Pretty in pink singlet and matching bloomers by Blue Belle
5. Stunning snow white shoes by Miss Poppitt
6. Adorable little bird tee for baby by Wilson & Frenchy
7. Crazy palm tree print hat by Hide & Seek
8. Cute as a button tropical print hat by Hide & Seek

Just a few of our faves available now.

www.purely4kids.com.au


Enjoy

Amanda



Tuesday, 13 November 2012

I Am Never Taking A 7 Year Old Shopping Again....Like.....Ever.


As many of you know my eldest is in his last year of primary school. End of an era, and with that comes preparations for the Year 6 Graduation. It seems the preparations surrounding what to wear are just as big for the boys as they are for the girls.

This year the boys have all decided they want to wear Vans. So after educating myself on what Vans actually were – no, not a vehicle used to deliver my veges every week, apparently they are actually a shoe – who knew?

I had a whole day planned full of things I needed to get done around the house, but I thought a quick trip to our local surf shop with Master almost 12 and I could cross the shoes off my to-do list. The fatal flaw in my plan however was when I asked Master 7 if he wanted to come too. From there, it was all down-hill.

So, straight to the shops we go, and minus a slight distraction on my part by the new Christmas shop that had opened, it was straight to the surf shop. Right, in, out. Easy.

Me: “Okay, which ones do you like?”

Master almost 12: “Purple ones”

Shop Assistant: “Sorry, we don’t have those in your size”

Master almost 12: “Red ones”

Shop Assistant: “Sorry, don’t have your size”

Master almost 12: “Orange & red ones”

Shop Assistant: “Yep, we’ve got those ones in your size”

Master almost 12: “That’ll do.”

Great, done, love it. Next.



Master 7: “Can I have those?” (pointing at large oversized pair of basketball type shoes)

Me “No”

Master 7: “Can I have those?” (pointing at another large oversized pair of basketball type shoes)

Me “No”

Master 7: “Can I have those?” (pointing at yet another large oversized pair of basketball type shoes)

Me “No. Basically, stop looking at oversized basketball shoes. It’s nearly summer, you don’t play basketball, and you’re not getting a pair”

Master 7 after spending 5min whinging about the basketball shoes: “What about these?”-pointing to a pair of blue & black Globe sneaker things without laces

Me –“Okay, let’s see if they have your size”

So we try a size 12, nope they seem a bit small, then we try a size 13, nope they seem a bit big. Then we sit there and stare at them. Then we stare at the shop assistant. Then we stare at the shoes some more.

Me: “Okay, so they don’t fit. What about a pair of the Vans. What about this red pair. They are in your size”

Master 7: “hmmmm”

Success! We try on the red Vans and they fit. Success was short lived however when instead of looking at his feet or even bothering to go for a walk to “test them”, he’s already looking at the shelves again.

Me: “What’s wrong”

Master 7: “I want the blue & black ones”

Me: “They don’t fit”

Master 7: “hmmmm”

Me: “Okay, so let’s get the red ones”

Master 7 “I don’t want laces”

Of course not, what boy would possibly want shoe laces on a pair of shoes.

Master 7: “Can I have those?” (pointing at large oversized pair of basketball type shoes)

Me “No”

Master 7: “Can I have those?” (pointing at another large oversized pair of basketball type shoes)

Me: “No. Seriously, we’re not going through this again”

Master 7: “I’ll try the blue/black ones”

Of course – because in the 5min since you last tried them on they now magically fit you.

Me: “They don’t fit you. Pick another pair. What about these? They don’t have laces”

Master 7: “hmmmm”

At this point I can be heard sucking in air trying not to throw a tantrum worthy of any 2 year old. We have the most patient sales assistant you’ve ever seen in your life, who I was continually telling to serve every other customer in the store, we were clearly going to be a while.

Me: “What other colour do you want to try?”

Master 7: “These ones” pointing to a black pair identical to a pair he already has.

Me “You already have a pair like that”

Master 7 “What about these ones then”

Me “They are the same shoes. You’ve got a black pair. I’m not buying you another pair of shoes the same as the ones you’ve already got”

Master 7 “hmmm”

It’s about now I actually have to get out my phone, walk away, ring DH and let him know that I am NEVER, EVER going shoe shopping with Master 7 again.......EVER. I now know how Taylor Swift feels.
Fast forward another 15min.

Me “Okay, seriously, JUST PICK A PAIR OF SHOES ALREADY

Master 7 “hmmmm”

Me “Can someone please help put me out of my misery. Anybody?”

Master 7 “hmmmm. Maybe those purple ones”

Me to sales assistant : “Quick, grab them. NOW!!!!”

Master 7: “These are pretty good.”

Me: “Do they fit?”

Master 7: “hmmmm”

Me: “You know what, I don’t care – we’re getting these. If I don’t’ get out of this shop now I am seriously going to have a breakdown”

Most patient shop assistant to ever walk the earth “it’s okay, let’s check”.

PHEW – they fit. They didn’t have laces. They were purple – apparently that’s cool, and after waking Master almost 12 up who had fallen asleep in the corner of the store (or passed out from boredom) we were finally able to leave the store.

Master 7 “can you take a photo of my shoes and send to Pop. I think I’ll tell him about my shoes”

Yep, because your almost 70 year old grandfather who I think owns 2 pairs of shoes will be delighted to hear all about your new purple shoes. Sure. So of course, the photo turns out blue, not purple and so begins a whole other world of pain which I will save for another day.

Never again........like.....EVER.

Amanda

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT

Monday, 29 October 2012

What, what did I do?


Living with males is such fun.  It’s like a whole other world really.  One that consists of strange odours, empty cupboards, lots of mess, wet towels left in obscure places, smelly socks, footy boots, and cricket whites that now seem to have a strange grey tinge to them.

On the upside though, it is balanced by lots of cuddles.  It’s definitely true about boys and their mums – my eldest gives the best cuddles ever!! 

This morning however, even his cuddles weren’t going to save him.  I should have titled this post “What I Say and What He Hears Part 2 – the child’s version”.  If you read last week’s rant you’d completely understand where I was coming from........it’s clearly a genetic trait that starts at birth.

I say to Master 11 year old “can you please pick up all the clothes off the floor upstairs and put them in the washing basket”.  

He hears ..............................................


After packing lunches, school bags, checking notes, making sure I’ve got everything I need for work, packing the daycare bag, throwing everything into the car except the 2 year old tornado (who at last check was looking like he was contemplating popping the cat in the washing machine), it was a quick dash upstairs only to find what looked like some crazed person had emptied the entire contents of the boys wardrobes, rubbed them in dirt and strewn them across three rooms.

Argh!!!!!!!!  After putting on best screeching voice I can muster in the morning Master 11 saunters in with his usual blank expression and my second favourite phrase “What, what did I do?”

It’s more what you didn’t do buddy!!! 

I wish I could say that I was making this up.  I wish I could say that my boys were growing up as modern, educated men, that will be quite capable of taking care of themselves.  Instead, I've somehow managed to produce a bunch of Neanderthals that can’t even pick a bloody sock up off the floor.

Master 11 continues to look at me with a blank look as if I’m speaking a new-found foreign language.  “But I thought you meant just my room”.  Now I know, they don’t have the capacity to think further than ooh I don’t know, a millisecond, but seriously. 

After a deep breath I then wander into Master 11’s domain.  “Oh, this room?  Is this the room you thought I was talking about?  The one with the clothes ALL OVER THE FLOOR?????  IS THAT THE ROOM YOU THOUGHT I WAS TALKING ABOUT??????”

And there it was – my favourite phrase, the one that really tips me over the edge, the one that makes me want to turn to the vodka at 8am in the morning.......

"What? {insert sibling’s name here}, must have done it”

Yep, of course.  In the 5 minutes since I asked you to pick up all the washing off the floor your 7 year old brother ran upstairs, got hold of the washing basket, managed to only pick out your clothes, throw them all over the floor, run back downstairs just in time for me to head upstairs and go off my nut!!!

Hmmmmmmm - yep, that must be what happened.

HELP ME!!!!

Amanda

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

What I Say and What He Hears


So husband of the year gets home at 7pm last night, about 15min after me.  I’ve already started dinner and the tribe are doing an amazing job of ignoring my requests to do homework, stop fighting, pretty much anything at all I’ve asked them to do since we walked in the front door.

Because it was getting late I thought the smart thing to do would be to get husband of the year to sort the boys out.  Now as we all know husbands don’t have the ability to assess a situation and react.  In other words they aren’t able to think “okay, it’s getting late – my beautiful wife is cooking dinner, I’ll pop upstairs and get the boys showered and organised”.  Oh no, that’s not possible, their brain is simply thinking “mmmmm, beer”, and probably other things we won’t mention here.

As a result, I thought I did a pretty good job of explaining to the hubster what was required.  “Hey, can you pop upstairs and get the boys sorted, get them in the shower etc, while I finish getting dinner ready”




What he obviously heard was “Boys are upstairs, why don’t you ask them to hop in the shower and then grab a beer and piss off outside to stare at the leaves in your swimming pool while the boys then waste 20min worth of water, fight, smear toothpaste all over the carpet, scream, fight some more, and let the whole neighbourhood know a crazy person has moved in next door because all they can hear is me screaming the house down for someone to have a freakin’ shower!!!!!!!!”


Twenty minutes later when said crazy person (that would be me) starts screaming at the husband to get his arse back inside I am faced with a blank stare and words like “What, what have I done?”.  I swear I wanted to smack him across the head.

The fact that he has walked back inside to absolute chaos pretty much guarantees world war 3 is about to break out.  Sure enough husband of the year can be heard screaming at the boys, “what are you doing?  Now I’m in trouble cause you lot weren’t in the shower.  Why are you still dry, have you even had a shower?  Why is there toothpaste all over the floor, blah, blah, blah, blah”  If the neighbours had any doubt about the crazy family next door they don’t any more.

Whilst all this was going on I simply breathed in, breathed out and visualised a large glass of ice cold bubbles, thinking to myself if husband of the year had simply “popped upstairs and sorted the boys out for 10min” all the pain and suffering that followed could have been avoided. 

Again, because sometimes I think his brain literally doesn’t work, he honestly struggled to grasp this concept. Argh!!! I swear I live in a zoo full of monkeys!!!  Help me!!!!  

Amanda 




Monday, 22 October 2012

Who needs doors anyway?


It’s been over a month now since we moved into the new house, which means it’s been over 2 months since husband ran through the house and removed every door in sight.

It’s not that he has some kind of weird phobia about doors, it’s just that they were all old mission brown things and falling apart so they ended up in the skip bin.  Only 1 door has since gone up in it’s place – the door to the bathroom.



Don’t get me wrong – I like open plan as much as the next person, but seriously, no doors....... I kind of like doors.  They come in handy for a number of reasons.

  1. How can I send the 2 year tornado to his room when he just walks right out again?
  2. How do I hide all the mess that I’ve shoved into the spare room when there is no door to hide it all behind?
  3. Fights are no where near as exciting if you can’t be all dramatic, storm off and slam a door!
  4. It’s near impossible to shove everything into the linen cupboard when there is no door to stop everything falling straight back onto the floor again. 
  5. What if I have a sudden desire to hang something on the back of a door – what am I supposed to do then huh?
  6. Where am I supposed to put the funky new door handles I found?
  7. What if I want to lock myself in a room so I can’t hear the boys screaming at each other?
  8. Do I really don’t need to see the toilet seat up everytime I walk past the boy’s bathroom?


I am almost tempted to rings Doors Plus and have them put doors in for me – I say almost because, sorry, can someone please explain how it costs over $200 to put up one door??  Seriously, maybe I should become a door putter-upperer - who wouldn’t want to work for that sort of hourly rate.

So tell me, is it just me?  Do you think doors are an important feature of your house or just a luxury you can do without?  


Thursday, 18 October 2012

No Mum, I Can Do It


How is it that kids manage to go from "Mr Independent" to "Mr I'm Going To Sit On My Lazy Bum and Do Nothing" in the blink of an eye?

I took the 2 year old tornado for a walk this morning (yes, you did just read that correctly, pick yourself up off the floor - I went for a walk)...mainly because he is sick and the constant whinging, whining and crying was enough to turn me towards the alcohol stash and it was only 10am.  I thought a walk was possibly the more responsible course of action.

Anyway, so off we went on our walk which takes us past a playground and the 2 year old tornado decided he was going to have a run around, climb up ladders and slide down slides WITHOUT mum's help thank you very much. 


I remember both his older brothers were exactly the same when they were that age and through those fun filled toddler years.

No, I can put my own shoes on mum.  I don't care if you are late for work, you can stand there while I take 45min to work out if the rabbit goes under the hole or through the hole, I do not need any help!!!



I'm old enough to ride my bike down to the park by myself mum, I don't need you to come with me,

I can pour my own drink mum, it doesn't matter if 3/4 of it ends up on the floor.  I don't need any help.

Oh yes, Mr Independent, but don't ask them to put their toys away, clean up after themselves, put the juice back in the fridge, the cheese wrapper in the bin or remove their shoes from the middle of the lounge room floor.  Oh no, they aren't possibly old enough to do that by themselves.

And whatever you do, don't ask them to pick their washing up off the floor and put in a washing basket less than a foot away - there is no way they are old  enough to manage anything that technical. 

 A girl's gotta dream!!!

Ah yes, "Mr Independent" to "Mr I'm Going To Sit On My Lazy Bum and Do Nothing" in the blink of an eye.  

Anyone else notice this with their kids?

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

It’s all fun and games until someone decides to play cricket.

I was just having a chat with a friend of mine who has recently had a little boy and his beautiful wife is all ready for him to start playing all those fun team sports that kids play, like cricket.

Now with 2 boys of my own who play cricket and a 2.5 year old tornado who wishes he was playing cricket, I feel that I am somewhat of an expert on the matter.

As I started explaining the joys of Saturday mornings spent sitting watching a bunch of boys stand around waiting for something exciting to happen, I realised it all started with bikkies, dip and a beverage.

My boys all started playing Milo cricket on a Friday night the year they started school. Apparently Milo cricket is pretty cool. They get a fab backpack full of goodies, they practice batting, they practise bowling, they run around a bit – it’s all good fun. I say “apparently” because to us parents Milo cricket is actually about sitting around on deck chairs eating bikkies and dip whilst having a quiet beverage. I think I did see one of the boys bowl someone out once but I couldn’t be sure.



Well of course, Milo cricket gave the boys a taste for the game didn’t it. It was a natural progression from there into the cricket whites, floppy hats and Saturday mornings spent bleary eyed whilst waiting for something to happen. To be honest, the first year is actually kind of fun. Watching these kids pick up bats that are bigger than they are and learning to bowl the ball so it actually reaches the batter before he falls asleep is pretty entertaining. Of course, as they get older, it all becomes a bit more serious and before you know it, half your Saturday is gone and you are trying to find out who on earth decided that white was a good colour to play any kind of sport in.

Then the next child goes through the ranks and decides there is no way he is waiting until he’s 9 to play cricket. He can bowl to his big brother and face down one of his fast ones so he’s playing “proper” cricket and that’s that. Can be a little bit tricky when the cricket pads end up around his neck and he looks like he will fall over as soon as puts the helmet on, but hey, he doesn’t seem to mind.

Hmmm, so now it’s each of us off in different directions each Saturday morning amid arguements as to who is taking the tornado with them. With the tornado in tow there is no sitting down quietly enjoying a coffee – unless you want a full scale disaster area on your hand, your morning is spent bowling a plastic ball in the cricket nets to calls of “oh good boy” from said tornado.

So in short, bikkies, dip and a few beverages are all fun and games until someone decides they want to play cricket..............

Amanda

Monday, 8 October 2012

My Baby Is All Grown Up

I wake today to the reality of life.  School holidays are over, it's back to normality.  Uniforms to iron, school lunches to pack, notes to sign, and school bags to check before the mad dash that is school drop off, and day care drop off before joining the chaos that is Sydney peak-hour traffic on my way to work.  Argh!!!




But there's an added hint of sadness this time.  I say added sadness because in all seriousness I actually kinda like school holidays.  Things are a little slower, there's not that mad rush in the mornings, and everything somehow seems calmer.

This time though it's my eldest's last term of pre-school.  Next year he is off to high school, a thought that is honestly filling me with dread.  It seems like only yesterday that my baby was starting his first year of big-school.  How can he possibly now be heading off to his last term of primary school before being thrown out into the big bad world.


I remember my mum saying to me years ago that once the kids start school life really flys by.  I now completely understand.  Everything is done by the school calendar, the school week, the school term.  There's 8 weeks left of term, now there's only 4, ooooh, it's school holidays again........and before I know it another year has flown by.

I am lucky, my "baby" is a mummy's boy - I don't feel like I'm about to lose him to the big bad world, but I still have this immense sadness that he no longer going to be "protected" from the big bad world like his is at primary school.  Hubby and I are now going to lose some of that control we have.  He will have to make his own decisions and learn to survive on his own.  It seriously frightens the life out of me.

As a mum though I have to take a deep breath and put a smile on my face and send him off to school with kisses and cuddles like it was any other day.  I don't want that step into high school to be something he is frightened of which means I have to hide my fear so he doesn't feed off it.


Who else is sending their baby off for their last term of primary school?  How are you coping?

Saturday, 6 October 2012

My New Fave Book

I have a new fave book and I just love it. 

Shhh, but secretly I've always thought it would be kinda cool to be a witch. Don't you think? You know, someone cuts you off in traffic and you wiggle your nose and suddenly they have a flat tyre. Or you are just soooooo tired, there's no inspiration coming forth to help with dinner and presto - a three course meal is suddenly ready to dish up. 


 So my new fave book is called A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and it's seriously cool. I was a massive fan of the Twilight series (yes, I admit it), and the great thing about my new witchy poo book is it's written more for adults than teenage girls so you don't feel quite so guilty for lying back on the couch for a few hours and immersing yourself in it.




Yes, okay, so I know I should have been doing the washing, the ironing, playing with my children, vacuuming my house, unpacking boxes, doing the grocery shopping......but that's my point......my new book is so much for exciting!!!!! 

 What are you reading right now? Do you feel guilty curling up with a good book and ignoring reality going on around you?

Amanda

Sunday, 23 September 2012

A Sunny Sunday Walk

First weekend of the school holidays in NSW and the weather has been perfect.  My crazy kids even went for a swim - trust me, the water was freezing but kids being kids don't seem to notice that stuff.

Master 11 was staying at his friends house so I took the 2 year old tornado and Master 7 for a drive while hubby got some more painting done around the house.

We ended up at the Wisteria Gardens next to Parramatta Park.  The gardens were just beautiful.  We managed to avoid the odd ride that seemed to have been oddly set up at the entrance, not sure if was the end of a fair or just a randomly thrown together last minute fete, but regardless I reminded the boys we were there for a walk, not to spend money.



The 2 year old tornado slept through the entire walk but Master 7 delighted in all the flowers.  Poor thing couldn't quite understand why I wouldn't let him pick them.



There was Wisteria, obviously considering we were at the Wisteria Gardens, blossom trees, covered walk-ways, flower beds and lots of paths to follow.  Master 7 was heard to say "wow mum, I wish I could stay under this canopy all day and all night".  So cute.


Another favourite was seeing the tree with "thousands and thousands of bats in it".  I'm not sure that there were thousands but there were sure a lot of bats (or flying foxes - I'm never sure really).

It was a great way to spend a couple of hours, and for us, most importantly when it comes to school holidays, a FREE way to spend a couple of hours.




How did you spend your Sunday?  Would love for you to share.


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Kids Can Be Nice

Another day, another round of cricket.  This time cricket training for Master 7 year old.

His older brother of course did what he does best - whinge about how bored his is.  He seems to forget all the hours and hours his little brother has waited around for him while he has had cricket matches, cricket training, AFL matches, AFL training, Band performance, Band practice, Band tutorials.... and on and on the list goes.

As mother of the year I decided to sit on my behind and play on my iPad and give Master 11 year old the job of watching his 2 year old brother so I could do productive things like play on Facebook.

In the middle of the oval was a group of maybe 5 or 6 boys all playing touch footy together.  One of the older boys sauntered up to Master 11 and asked him if he wanted to join in.  You should have seen his face light up, it sure beat having to play with the 2 year old tornado.  Of course it also meant the end of my fun on Facebook, but that's okay.


I don't really know what it was about that moment, but I was really touched.  As a seriously shy child growing up I was so scared of groups of other children who I didn't know.  I would never have dreamed of joining in games with them.  It actually makes me think that I was probably too busy being worried about everything around me to just enjoy being a kid.

I loved seeing my eldest son run to join in the middle of their game like he'd known them all his life, and it was equally wonderful to see a group of other kids make him feel welcome.

Sometimes we are so busy being negative about "kids these days" that we forget to see the good things they do.

Would love you to share your great kid stories with us.

Amanda

Monday, 17 September 2012

So sorry I’ve been MIA the last few weeks – life has been one giant blur of stress!!!!

As you may know we bought a house a few months ago – woo hoo!!!  That’s where the joy ended for a little while though. 



Then came the scarey time to sell our house.  Looking back, it wasn’t that bad really compared to what some people go through.  At the time though, I just wanted a giant hole in the earth to swallow me up.

As all mums out there would know, trying to keep a house clean and tidy with kids around is almost impossible.  Trying to keep the house looking like a showroom with 3 feral boys is just plain torture.
Then comes the fun part.  You know how it is, someone is coming, the house is a mess, so just pick everything up and throw it in a cupboard.  The trouble was I was doing that every second day for 4 weeks and I have absolutely no idea where I have hidden everything.  I did find a jar of pasta sauce in the blanket box the other day – hmmmmm.

Before we moved in we tried “fixing-up” the new house.  Painting inside and new carpets.  Doesn’t sound like much but when the quotes to paint are just plain stupid and your husband is a perfectionist when it comes to renovating, it seriously takes FOREVER!!!  I know I shouldn’t complain, he’s doing the entire house by himself, but that’s beside the point.  I want it finished.........now!!!!

The biggest disaster of the entire move was Foxtel. As many of you know, I love my trash TV.  The trashier the better.  So to be faced with the prospect of losing hours and hours of recorded trash - well that was something I just couldn't bare to think about.   A quick phone call to Foxtel however confirmed that all would be okay.  The IQ box could safely move over with all my beloved shows - I wouldn't have to hole up somewhere for a month to watch 4 straight weeks of TV.  Yeah well, that worked didn't it....NOT.  I lost everything.  Argh - now I have no idea what's going on with Puberty Blues.  Is it even still on?  Thanks Foxtel.

In the meantime we are living in a complete whirl-wind of chaos that I am desperately trying to tread water through while telling myself it will all be worth it in the end.

Anyone else going through this at the moment?  How are you coping?

Amanda

Friday, 14 September 2012

We Have A New Blog

We have a new blog and we just LOVE it!!!!

I love writing, I love updating our blog, I love updating everyone on the crazy goings-on around here - but I'm not so good at all that technical stuff behind the scenes, so it was time to ask for some help.

Thanks to the lovely Katrina from The Media Maid, we have a fabulous looking blog that we think looks just fab.

You probably already know Katrina.  Her blog katrinaleechambers is a favourite among many, and she is also a Kidspot Top Blogger.

The fabulous Katrina Chambers

So now I have no excuse.  We are all moved in to the new house.  I have my own office space now (it's full of cardboard boxes at the moment though), and now I have a beautiful looking blog.  It's time to get writing again.

What do you think of our new look?  Do you love it as much as we do?

Amanda

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

This Month We Are.........

This month we are loving..........


The new range from Paul & Paula.


This month we are watching.........


Revenge.....of course.  What will I do when the season comes to an end.



The boys are watching Big Time Rush.  Argh, enough already.



This month we are reading.......


50 Shades of Grey.  Hmmm.........



The boys are reading Diary of a Wombat, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Zac Power.




This month we are wearing.....


Anything warm.  Come on Spring.  


The boys are wearing anything they can find that I haven't packed for the move, LOL.



What have you all been up to this month?  Share your favourites with us.


Amanda

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Rubbish


My children seem to see me like this.



Funny, coz I was sure I looked like this.




Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone knew why children are physically unable to put rubbish in the bin.  Do they think that grouch from sesame street is real and a green hairy monster is going to leap out at them if they approach?



Clearly, because this is how my children see me, they have no issue throwing random pieces of rubbish at mum.  The finished chip packet – here mum.  The finished sausage roll wrapper – here mum.  The apple core – here mum.  Seriously, what do I want with a half-eaten apple!!!!!!


I especially love it when my car gets to that stage where it actually smells like something has died in it.  It’s at that point that I find the half-eaten apple buried under a car seat that was obviously shoved there by a small child after one of my rants about being passed half chewed food!!  Let’s not put it in the bin when we get home people!!!



Or of course there is the mouldy squashed sandwich in the bottom of the school bag.  Don’t bother at least pretending you ate the sandwich I slaved over in the morning by throwing it the bin at school.  No, just pop it in the school bag under hats, jackets and lunchboxes.  Mum will find it eventually – and if not, the mould growing through the bag will soon give it away.

Or the wrappers strewn the bedroom, or buried under the couch, or my personal favourite, pop them onto the ceiling fan, turn the ceiling fan on and watch them fly through the air.  Yes, my boys are all class.


Do your kids see you as a rubbish bin?  Well, must go now.  I have to go and take the rubbish out.

Amanda

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Four In The Bed

One of the things we love most about Purely4kids is being able to meet the fabulous women behind the brands.  How did they start their labels, what do they love about it, what do they do?


Meet the beautiful Ellie - the name behind pyjama brand Four in the Bed.









We’d love a little insight into the world of Four in the Bed.  Can you tell us a little bit about you and your family?

I live on a small farm close to the township of Deniliquin which is located on the edge of outback NSW in the southern Riverina of New South Wales, about 3 hours drive north of the Victorian border. In our busy home there is myself Ellie, my extremely patient husband Lachie, darling daughters Georgia 6 and Lucy 4, two extremely spoilt cats, Mr McGee and Mr Abbey and our wonder pony Joey!


Where does the name Four in the Bed come from?

The brand name was inspired by the nursery rhythm of the same name. It came to me one 2am morning after not being able to sleep - thanks to two extra little bodies in our bed. I thought it was the perfect name for children’s sleepwear – a name all parents could relate to one way or another.



What made you start Four in the Bed?

I started the brand in 2010 partly to get my creative brain working again after “baby mania” but mainly out of sheer frustration of not being able to find classic pyjamas and nighties made in 100% cotton for my own girls. After bouncing the idea around my girlfriends I discovered I wasn’t alone. My pre-family career was in brand management. For over 15 years I worked in various marketing positions within the cosmetics, intimate apparel and prestige homewards industries and have always had ‘the dream’ to one day have my own brand.


What is the most rewarding thing for you about your business?

The lovely letters, pictures and facebook comments from customers letting me know how much they love their purchases. It makes all the stress and long working days worth while.xx


Where does your inspiration come from?

My childhood I guess. A lot of my designs are based on memories of what I remember wearing at bedtime as a child. And my girls, my number one critics. They are constantly putting forward suggestions for prints and colour combinations.




What’s next for Four in the Bed?

Well, I have just put-to-bed (pardon the pun) Autumn Winter for next year. And like all children Four in the Bed will be growing too – with increased sizing up to a 14.

Spring Summer is well underway and won’t be far off arriving.  The range is based on the idea of letting children be children and so I have tried to create a range accordingly - whimsical butterflies, divine striped broderie anglasie nightie and camisole short sets and a hint of floral for the girls. Not forgetting the boys and their love of all things mechanical – so it’s retro aeroplane and bicycle prints, tractors and ute for those country boys in classic summer pj styles.


If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Oh Italy! I just love it. My godmother lives in Milan and I was lucky enough to visit her a few years ago. I was there for just under a month and had a quick taste of the north and south. I would love to go back and just explore slowly and soak up the culture. Bellissimo!



We hope you are as inspired by Ellie as we are.

Amanda



Thursday, 7 June 2012

Do As I Say Not As I Do


Ever have one of those parenting moments where things just don’t quite go according to plan?

You know, you are in the middle of disciplining your child, you are so proud of the way you are able to articulate your words and then “wham”, it all rapidly falls apart.

Well thanks to DH I had one of those exact moments on the weekend. Master 11 Year old staggers thru the door from football looking none too pleased while grumpy looking husband follows in behind muttering under his breath.

Such a joyful looking bunch,  I had to ask what was wrong.  This sent DH into one of his rants about the “bloody kids” and the fact that they never seem to do as they are told.

The 2 older boys had apparently been spotted by the footy coach throwing cherry tomatos onto the road......hmmmm

“That’s it!!!  No more playing out on the front yard, you can’t be trusted, what if you had hit a car!!! Don’t you know how dangerous that is!!!”  and on and on raved DH.

Of course this was all met with tears and protests from the boys.....”we were only throwing them on the road, we didn’t hit any cars” blah blah blah.

After a few minutes I’d had enough and demanded that both boys sit down and listen.  I explained to them in my perfect “I mean business” voice the dangers involved with what they had done.  It was totally irrelevant whether they were throwing tomatoes directly at cars, throwing them onto the road, or simply rolling them down the driveway, what they were doing was wrong and dangerous.  Cars driving down the road would have no idea that they were small cherry tomatoes, for all they knew they could be rocks!!!!!

Scatterings of “Do you understand what I’m saying to you?” were thrown in for good measure and a final “and not only are you not allowed to play out on the front yard any more, but you have also lost your ipods for the remainder of the week”.

Yes, I had just been a responsible parent.



So, you can imagine my joy when Master 7 year old (who’s been extremely quiet through the whole chat) pipes up with “But Mum, Dad told us to throw the tomatoes on the road!"

“What do you mean your father told you to throw them on the road?  Don’t be ridiculous.  Did you not just listen to anything I just said to you!!!!”

At which point master 11 also joins in “Actually, he did Mum.  He didn’t want the tomatos dropping on the front lawn and the seeds getting in the grass so he told us to throw them onto the road”

It’s at this point that I look up to see DH slowing backing out of the room to do a quick runner outside.  What the?

Seriously, what do I even say to that one?


Amanda



Thursday, 31 May 2012

Top 10 Tips for Moving House



1Celebrate finally finding a house bigger than a shoebox by having a glass of bubbles.

2. Find a whole bunch of empty cardboard boxes and newspapers so you are ready to start packing




3. De-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter


4. Get bored with de-cluttering and have a glass of bubbles instead






5. Realise you only have 4 weeks until moving day and start panicking



6. Realise you have too much stuff to possibly contemplate packing so sit down in front of the tv with a glass of bubbles instead





7. When your husband tells you not to pack all the books into one box so that it’s too heavy to lift, throw a tantrum and refuse to pack another thing!



8. Grab out the newspapers to start wrapping glasswear – get distracted and start reading the newspapers – who has time to do that normally.  Realise an hour has gone by, you’ve only wrapped one glass and now it’s time to pick the kids up from school – crap.


9. Prepare to start packing again only to realise that the kids have stolen all the boxes and turned them into a giant fort.


10.Decide it’s all too hard – can’t we just stay in our shoebox and rent out the new house we just bought?






Amanda

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Interview Process - Part 2


Filled with confidence after the Interview Process Part 1, we embarked on the Interview Process Part 2.
 
This time “11 Year Old Lounging on Couch” was to spend the day at another prospective high school as part of a “taster day”.  The idea is that the kids get to spend the day at the school in the hope that it will give them a “feel” for high school and maybe take away some of the fear.

The children were asked to wear their current school uniform to the high school.  This meant that I got to spend the evening prior running around the house screaming at my family that surely, surely somewhere in our shoebox of a house there had to be a pair of school trousers that did not have a hole worn through the knee.


You would think that the family would respond to my shrieks, but apparently whatever was being cooked on Masterchef was far more appealing that my shrieks about school uniforms, either that or my family suddenly no longer understood simple English and have all taken up a second language.

Luckily for me though, I’ve found that by simply walking past the TV at the exact moment of intense drama and flicking the off button on the TV – yes, on the actual TV, not the remote, that then sends the whole family into their own world of panic – hee hee. 

Not that they were any help anyway.  I was presented with 3 more pairs of school trousers, all with holes, and one even covered in mud – “from the cool sliding tackle I did mum”.....hmmmmm

So of course then it’s the crazed SOS text message to the girlfriends – does anyone have a pair of school trousers without holes?  Anyone????

Luckily we were saved and I even managed to convince the 11 year old to brush his hair.  This time the motto “I’ll just put a hat on” would not cut it.

So after dropping off “middle child syndrome” and “tornado terror” we were off to Taster Day.  My beat-up heap of crap (aka Ford Territory) pulled into the car park and instantly put all the glistening BMW’s and Merc’s to shame.


The school we visited actually starts at kindergarten, but we can’t even contemplate the crippling fees until high school.  The reason I mention this is that our day started with a French lesson.  The children already attending this school are already learning French.  The lesson was taught in French, the kids spoke French, the teacher spoke French, while Master 11 sat there looking confused and yawning a lot.  Thankfully I was on the ball and had already decided I had a clear shot with my notebook should he actually nod off.

French lesson over and then it was off to check out the Japanese class.  Thankfully this was more of a level playing field as none of the kids could speak Japanese so they all looked confused together.

From there it was drama, design and finally cooking.  A lovely lady wearing a full chef’s outfit explained to the kids the importance of washing hands and keeping your hair tied back out of your face when preparing a meal as no one wants hair in their dinner do they?

Apparently not, as could be seen by my child turning his head to face me and giving me the “are you listening mother” look. 

Of course “the look” was witnessed by the other mothers in attendance.  “Did your son just give you a look?”  Ah, yes he did.  Apparently long strands of hair are not supposed to be disguised as a new type of pasta – who knew?


We had made it to lunchtime and it was time for the parents to leave for a few hours before returning at 3.20pm sharp to collect the children.

Great, 90 min of freedom with no children.  I’m sure I passed a little shopping village down the road where lunch was calling me and a cup of coffee I could actually drink while it was still hot.

At 3.10pm I realised my little slice of heaven was over and it was time to head back to school.  Quick turn of the ignition and heap of crap (aka Ford Territory) decided it didn’t want to start did it!

Try again.....tick tick tick tick tick

Swear

Try again.....tick tick tick tick tick

Swear ...... again

Try again.....tick tick tick tick tick

By now it’s 3.15pm and the horrible realisation set in that I was going to have to run back to school.

Now, those of you that know me would understand the utter terror that would have presented me with. 

I don’t run!

In fact, I don’t walk, let alone run!  No seriously, I have this horrible horrible allergy to any form of exercise at all – unless there is a shoe sale on and then I might be able to master up a bit of a power walk.


So there I am in my boots with heels, running up not one but two hills while the glistening BMW’s and Mercedes passed me by.  I even had a stitch!!!!  I finally make it to the pick up point at 3.25pm looking like I had just stepped out of a sauna and could only manage a wave and a cough towards the teacher. 

Trust me, when you have just run 100km’s (felt like that anyway) and you have a stitch, it’s very hard to talk.

My ever-reliable 11 year old of course asked what on earth was wrong with me and with a complete look of horror on his face announced that there was no way on earth he was going to walk all the way back to the car.

I think my look of “I just ran 100km’s back to the school to get you – AND I DON’T RUN” soon put any more thoughts of complaint to the side.

So back we trudged to heap of crap (aka Ford Territory) and I pressed speed dial on my phone to the NRMA (have to have them on speed dial when you have a Territory).

20min later and $190 for a new battery and we were on our way home again.

And before you ask, no, there will be no interview process part 3.  I am now officially done.