• Still here - blogging again
    Blogging,  Social

    Still here

    Well hello there!  *Sheepish wave*  It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  It seems I have taken an unintended, rather extended break from the old blog.  Like I said, certainly wasn’t a planned event.  However, I am still here and feeling like I just can’t let the blog go.  I thought about it, but it just didn’t sit right, so I thought I would just start writing again when it felt good.  

    It’s been a busy first half of the year for us – Ms 5 is in kinder and Mr 3 is in three year old kinder.   They attend a small kinder, which is lovely, but also means that the sessions do not run concurrently.  So a couple of days a week I am up and back, up and back, up and back!  Some days we have a little half hour break in between their sessions, which the kids love, because they get to run around the kinder yard with their friends a bit longer.  

    With Ms 5 in kinder, it’s meant we have had to choose a primary school!  Oh, all the feels!  It’s not like we were making a choice between private and public, but we did have a couple of options in our area.  We’ve gone with the closest one, right near her kinder, which has thrilled Ms 5 no end of course, because that is where nearly everyone else from kinder is going.  It’s such a mix of emotions, isn’t it, choosing a school for the first time.  She is not ‘small’ anymore, not a baby, not a toddler, nearly not a preschooler anymore.  Oh!  How did that happen so fast.  She is hurtling toward being a big girl, she is sooooooo desperate to be a big girl!  And I am just trying to hold on as she speeds by, desperate to have her not grow up too quick, to stay with me just a little longer.  Then she told me this morning, after discussing how grown ups live with friends or by themselves, that she won’t because “mummy I will stay with you and dad.  Because I don’t want to leave you.”  Heart. Melts.  

    Parenting Is So Worth It

    So, I am still here.  I plan on writing a lot more, in between kinder runs and school planning and dealing with the fact that my first born little daughter is rapidly growing up!!  

    Tell me – what have you been doing this first half of the year?  Anyone else approaching school for their kids for the first time?  Tell me how you’re going with it!!

  • Family,  Giveaway,  Travel

    Dreambaby® Review and Giveaway!

    Dreambaby® Giveaway

    So it seems that sometimes, the universe sends you things you need.  Little things, big things, important, not so important.  Recently, the universe sent a little, but very useful thing to me by way of a chance to review AND giveaway some new “On-The-Go” Travel products by  Dreambaby®.  Now, this has been very useful for me because since we got our current car, I have not had a big enough sun shade for the back windows, and the new range includes The Dreambaby® Adjusta-Car Shade® Stretch-It, Shape-It, Fit-It™ and the Dreambaby® Insta-Cling™ Car Shades.  Sweet!  And just in time, I received the products to review just before we took off for our little Cup Weekend getaway.  Road trip sun shades sorted!

    Did you go away for the Cup Weekend?  We go away every year with a group of four other families – chaos and madness!  But super fun.  We all pack up and travel off to a Big 4 somewhere in Victoria and hang out for five days.  This was our fifth year, and the tradition is going strong.  Such a fun way to catch up with friends that we don’t get to see as often as we’d like.  Lots of jumping pillows, swimming, usually rain and wine.  Lots of wine!

    Dreambaby® Adjusta-Car Shade® Stretch-It, Shape-It, Fit-It™

    Now to the products.  Firstly, the Dreambaby® Adjusta-Car Shade® Stretch-It, Shape-It, Fit-It™.  This is perfect for our car – we have a bigger, suv type, and this just stretches right to all the corners.  Which is great for Ms 4, because she is at that stage where she is VERY particular about things.  Like the sun touching her at all when she is in the car!  It was easy to use, it sticks right on with big suction cups that don’t pop off easily, ie when little hands are trying!  (RRP $19.95 two pack).  

     

    Dreambaby® Giveaway

    The second one we got to try, was the Dreambaby® Insta-Cling™ Car Shades.  The static cling shade just attaches to the window, you just smooth it on and there you go! There is no need for suction cups, and it doesn’t affect any tinting surface that may be on the window already.  Really easy to use, and it’s stayed on for a couple of weeks now.  Hasn’t fallen off  and it’s great for Mr 2 – he can’t reach the window, so he can’t pull anything off!!  These have UPF 50+ sun protection, the mesh screen can help to reduce glare on sunny days and they simply fold away into a compact, easy-to-store, re-usable bag.  (RRP $11.95).   

    Dreambaby® Giveaway! Dreambaby® Giveaway

    Are you starting to think about the Christmas and Summer holidays?  Any road trips coming up?  Then get your fingers clicking and enter toot sweet!  These have just been fabulous for us, and the kids have been much happier in the car, without the sun annoying them.  To enter, check out the options on the little app below – please consider sharing with your social media pals as well – it’s good karma!  

    If you would like to know more about the new Dreambaby® Travel range, you can check out their website here, or visit their YouTube account here.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Walk For Prems 2015 - Melbourne
    Family,  Health,  Social

    Walk For Prems 2015

    Walk For Prems 2015 - Melbourne

    Last week, our little family, The Mister, Ms 4 , Mr 2 and myself, participated in the 2015 Walk For Prems.  It was a great day, and we all had fun!  Although it was quite windy for much of the day, it didn’t seem to put anyone off and there was a great crowd gathered around Albert Park Lake in Melbourne.  The Walk For Prems is a regular Walk, that raises funds for the Life’s Little Treasures Foundation.  Life’s Little Treasures Foundation is Australia’s leading charity dedicated to the families of babies born sick or prior to 37 weeks gestation. This year, the aim is to raise $250,000 and the walk was held in six cities around Australia simultaneously.  The major sponsor for the race, was Medela.  Medela understands the importance of human milk in the NICU and know that the content of human milk makes a considerable contribution to the best possible development of premature babies.  According to Medela CEO, Jarrod Percy, the organisation is looking forward to helping the foundation in the very valuable work it does to support the families of premature and sick babies.

    Medela Sponsored the 2015 Walk For Prems

    We have been blessed with healthy, full term pregnancies with both our children, and feel incredibly grateful for this.  When I was presented with the opportunity to participate in the walk with Team Medela, to raise awareness and funds, I discussed it with The Mister and we both agreed it would be a great way to support those that have not been as lucky as we have.  

    Donate to Walk For Prems 2015

    You see, this cause is also important to us, as we have friends who have experienced the roller coaster ride that comes with the premature birth of your baby.  Their little man Thomas was born at 27 weeks.  What followed was three months in the Royal Children’s Hospital with surgeries, IV tubes, humidicribs and more.  The family received support from Life’s Little Treasures, and others throughout this bewildering and scary time.  Eventually, they were able to take their wee little man home, where he received lots of early intervention in  the form of physiotherapists and occupational therapists from the Royal Children’s Hospital. Thomas is now in primary school, and continues to work on his motor skills and is also learning keyboard, riding his bike and participating in running try outs.  He is an amazing little man, who in the words of his mum “is a very caring boy who loves learning about the world he lives in and it has been possible because of the Royal Children’s Hospital including all the staff and availability of equipment”.  

    It’s amazing what babies and families can do when they have the right supports in place.  The Life’s Little Treasures Foundation want to ensure that no family endures the traumatic and life changing experience of having a premature of sick baby without easy access to critical information and community support to help them through their journey.  The Walk For Prems event continues to raise money, and in the last three years has raised half a million dollars.  The actual Walk was great – there was such a fun atmosphere, with families walking with their babies and kids and even their dogs!  There were prams and toddlers and lots and lots of teams walking for the little one in their life who made their way into the world too early.  At the end of the walk, the kids enjoyed music and food and all sorts of fun activities.  It was a great day!

    WP_20151025_009

    If you would like to find out more about the work that Life’s Little Treasures do to support prem babies and their families, click here.  And if you feel like you would like to donate some money, and help the Foundation reach their goal of $250,000 you can do so here.

    Walk for Prems 2015

    Have your kids participated in a fundraising walk/run?  How did they go?  I would love to know! 

  • A Finish Powerball Review and Giveaway
    Giveaway,  Product Reviews

    The tale of a broken dishwasher: Finish Review & Giveaway

    Our dishwasher is broken.  It’s not completely broken, but it’s on it’s way out.  It chugs away bravely, and noisily, doing it’s best to clean the plates and bowls and endless plastic cups that end up in it, but we both know it’s nearly over.  A Finish Powerball Review and Giveaway

    When we moved in, the previous owner, an older woman, proudly pointed out that she really didn’t use the dishwasher.  This was either a lie or she was a crazy person because WHY?!  And it had clearly been used – things were well worn, in this old dishwasher.  I have never really had a house with a dishwasher until now.  I was so thrilled that there was one when we bought this house.  I know, small things.  Then it started to leak.  Not all the time at first, but then we ended up needing a tea towel at the base, all the time.  Eventually, this became intolerable and The Mister replaced the seal.  So easily fixed and it was fabulous!  No more leaking dishwasher.  

    A Finish powerball review and giveaway

    I had noticed that it wasn’t really cleaning that well, but then figured, if half the water was leaking out it probably wasn’t able to.  The new seal will have fixed it, I thought confidently.  And wrongly.  It’s had clean outs and filter cleans and The Mister has removed and cleaned out the arms.  Each time it was a little better, then no good really.  Apart from things on the top rack.  Apparently the arm under that rack appears to be ok.  It’s the bottom arm that is capput.  

    Then the door hinge broke.  One day it obviously decided it had had enough.  So now, it’s also slightly dangerous, particularly if you are 4 or 2, like half the members of our household.  Because a dishwasher door with no working hinge is HEAVY.  It regularly bangs down, hard, when someone who doesn’t know or forgets, goes to open it. 

    Finish Powerball Review & Giveaway

    This fills me with dread.  Even half working it’s better than being elbow deep in the sink ALL FREAKING DAY!  I keep persisting, stacking as much onto the top shelf as I can and sparsely filling the bottom.  That sometimes helps.  You know what also helps?  Using good quality powder.  I’ve always thought it was all much the same.  WRONG.  I was offered the chance to sample a packet of finish powerball quantum max tablets.  Yeah, they clean sooooo much better than the cheaper stuff I was using.  Even with my broken and struggling dishwasher, everything was clean.  Even the glasses were actually clean and not cloudy.  I need to not be cheap.  Also, a new dishwasher wouldn’t hurt.  Sponsors anyone??!!!  

    Do you reckon you’d like to win a packet of these little beauties?  Then get you to the widget and comment on this blog post telling me just what does your dishwasher mean to you?  Remember, it’s a game of skill, not chance and the most creative answer wins!  Australian Residents Only. 

    Linking up with #FYBF over with Grace and with #ReviewRoundUP at Mamma Raj Says 

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

     

  • Last Minute School Holiday Activities by Tully & Mishka
    Family,  Just For Fun,  Kid Friendly

    Last Minute School Holiday Activities

    Last Minute School Holiday Activities by Tully & MishkaWe’ve hit the second week of the school holidays in Victoria and it got me wondering; are you looking (frantically) for things to do with the kids?  Have you run out of ideas, or did you not realise just how awesome the weather was going to be here this week?  Well never fear, I’ve got your back with a list of of last minute school holiday activities that cover the gamut of free to not so free, DIY to out and about.  

    The AFL Footy Festival

    With the Grand Final happening this Saturday, the AFL are putting on a Footy Festival, starting Wednesday and going through to Saturday.  It’s free entry and there is a heap of things to do there.  The kids zone includes Aus Kick activities, kicking competitions, free face painting (winner!) and a whole lot more.  There is also a section where parents can get free coffee, snacks and mini massages whilst the kids are participating in some Auskick.  Sweet!  Check out the site – the trams are free from Wednesday through to Saturday and service the area of the Footy Festival, which is Yarra Park, right next to the mighty MCG.  

    Last Minute School Holiday Activities AFL Footy Festival

    The NGV

    The Gallery has a range of activities and exhibitions on for the school holidays for under 4’s to teenagers.  Some activities/exhibitions are free, some have entry and booking requirements.  I am planning on taking the kids to the Open House Tromarama For Kids exhibition.  It’s free and located at the NGV International.  It’s interactive, and is set up like a real house, allowing kids to move from room to room, experimenting with stop-motion apps and making films.  It looks cool!  I know a few kids who would just love it.  

    Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery

    Have you been here yet? Have you?!  If you don’t mind a bit of chocolate, you should probably check it out.   The chocolaterie is well set up for kids, with space to run the sugar high off outside, and kid friendly menus (of course) and activities.  It’s in a beautiful spot in the Yarra Valley, an hour from Melbourne.  There is no entry fee, and free tastings, but the fun comes in the cafe and the store, where all sorts of chocolatey goodies can be purchased.  Currently, they are hosting Hop For Hope, an outdoor exhibition raising funds for the wonderful Alannah and Madeline Foundation.  Check out their website for more information, including classes, menus and activities.  

    DIY Fun

    I’ve perused Pinterest for you (no need to thank me, I’ll take one for the team), and found a couple of cool things that we will be trying over the next week.  Check out this easy volcano eruption you can do in the back yard, and will have the younger kids entertained, no doubt for hours.  

    via Preschool Inspirations - easy volcano
    Image via Preschool Inspirations

    Another fun activity, for the backyard or around the neighbourhood park is this scavenger hunt for kids.  The post includes free printables!  Awesome.  And timely, given Ms 4 burst in this afternoon after talking to the kids over the back fence asking for a treasure hunt.  

    Scavenger Hunt via No Wooden Spoons
    Via No Wooden Spoons

    So what do you think?  Will you try any of these or are you all sorted for activities?  If you have some ideas, share them here, or over on facebook for everyone to enjoy 🙂

  • Just For Fun,  Kid Friendly,  Product Reviews,  Toddlers

    Too Busy Sleeping: A Book Review

    Have you heard of the delightful new book, ‘Too Busy Sleeping’?  Recently, I had an opportunity to put my hand up to review this lovely, lovely little children’s book, through the Parent Talk Australia collective.  I was very excited when the author, Zanni Louise, contacted me to say she would be happy for me to review her first book.  

    Too Busy Sleeping:  A Book Review

    It’s just gorgeous!  It is a little story about a new baby coming home – how will Eleanor, now a big sister, react?  It is delightfully illustrated by Anna Pignataro, with a kind of vintage, crafty feel to the drawings.  Ms 4 tells me every time we read it, that she thinks the first and last page looks like stickers and buttons, and she tries to take them off.

    Too Busy Sleeping by Zanni Louise

    Both my kids love this book.  Little Mr 2 just loves babies at the moment, and on every page points to Reuben and exclaims “bebe!”  It’s a positive story, that looks at the arrival of a new sibling through the eyes of a little one eager to play and eager to love.  

    Too Busy Sleeping: A Book Review

    It’s a lovely book whether you are preparing your kids for the arrival of new baby or not.  A little story about excitement, learning patience and love.

    Too Busy Sleeping.  Gorgeous books for kids.

    I love Too Busy Sleeping because it is positive and joyful, and shows that older kids, even preschoolers, can look forward to the homecoming of a new baby.  Even if they’re not quite happy with the sleeping needs of said newborn!  

    If you would like to get your hands on a copy of the gorgeous Too Busy Sleeping, you can here*.

    What books do your kids love to read?  Is it the same one, over and over, or a new one every night?  Let me know in the comments, I love to hear from you!

    Linking up with Mamma Raj Says for #ReviewRoundUp!

    *This is an affiliate link.  If you click here and purchase, I will receive a percentage of the sale.  This won’t affect the price you pay.  

  • AFL: Who do your kids support?
    Family,  Just For Fun,  Kid Friendly,  Parenting

    Family Feud – who do your kids barrack for?

    We’re well and truly into the pointy end of the footy season here in Melbourne.  Yep, September not only brings spring, but footy finals too.  We are definitely an AFL family, listening to most matches across the weekend and usually watching at least the Friday night match on the television, no matter who is playing.  And we’ve been club members since Ms 4 was about 1 1/2.  Which brings me to the question:  Which club?  Who do your kids barrack for?  As in, if you and your partner support different teams, whether it be AFL, rugby, netball, soccer or basketball, who do your kids support?

    AFL who do your kids support?  #afl #kangaroos #hawks

    Have you left it a clean slate, ready for them to choose when old enough?  Or have you and your partner chosen for them?  I’ve ‘surveyed’ a few friends to get a bit of an idea about this very important issue!  We’ve done the old, one for me one for you.  The Mister got to choose for the first born, because he seemed to care more, and second born was for me.  Because, we do not support the same teams.  Nope, The Mister is a Hawthorn man and I am North Melbourne.  When Mr 2 is old enough to work it out, he may have some resentment toward me………   😉

    So of the 5 or 6 families I asked, I really got a mix of responses.  One couple had a similar response as ours, although they aren’t too interested in the footy anymore.  Another told me that they were going to let their offspring choose for themselves, and had provided scarves in both teams in order to provide a balanced approach.  Although they had quickly removed the Essendon scarf placed in the cot by one grandmother, as and I quote “I ain’t having that shit go on in my house”  (Love it!)

    #AFL Who do your kids support?

    Another friend, and they don’t have kids at this point, advised that he isn’t a fan of the “one for mum and one for dad” approach and will respect any offspring’s decision, as long as it’s not to support Collingwood, or Hawthorn.  Another decided to start supporting his wife’s team.  He says because he just liked the song (he swapped to the Tigers, so fair enough.  I hasten to add this occurred some time before the Tige’s current good form!)

    And one friend told me how they had one for each, but complications had occurred after they had separated and since re-partnered.  The nature of the new relationships has meant that which ever parent the kids are with, one child is not barracking for the team that everyone else is.  It can be a passionate, emotion filled experience, following a sporting team, that’s for sure.  

    There are not many games left now, in this year’s AFL season, another round of finals next week and then the big one.  Which has, for the first time, bought a public holiday to the people of Victoria as well, thank you very much!  No matter who is in, we will be watching the big game and enjoying the atmosphere it brings to Melbourne – please, please, let there at least be one Victorian side in!!!  And there is a remote, vague chance that things could be tense here on the day – at this point, both Hawthorn and North Melbourne could still make it to the big game.  

    So now tell me – has the choosing of sporting teams been tricky for you?  Let me know!