“The quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her.”

If you know me at all, you know I love to regularly pop into the local op shop for a therapeutic session of good quality bargain hunting. For things your child will need to wear or have for only a short time, keep a little lookout at your local opshop (church thrift/secondhand store) as many other have bought new, used one, and then donated it… ready for you to come and find! I often grab a pair of gumboots that fit our son now, and if I see a nice pair for him for later, i stash those away too! Way better than paying 30 bucks for a pair, when I can pay 3 dollars for two pairs of the cutest ones I’ve seen! I don’t buy ‘normal’ clothes like t-shirts/shorts as there are plenty being passed on or gifted, but I’ve got a snowsuit for about ten dollars, and a rain suit for $3. Also, the sweetest little fur trimmed red parka jacket for four dollars. As the prodgeny of one of the secret society of ‘sunscreen police’, there are never too many sunhats around, so if I see a good one, I buy it even if it doesn’t fit Leo yet. 

Few rules with op shopping I try to stick by:

  • Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean you have to have it, or have to buy it. Be strict with quality. If its torn, broken or ‘could’ be fixed don’t buy it unless you promise to take it home and fix it straight away. 
  • If you’re not sure, walk away and let it be. Pop in again in a few days if you want and see how you go. THe little red jacket I left for a few weeks, and finally bought when a howling gale outside made me realise our little man actually needed it and we didn’t have anything else! It was still there… awesome!
  • Be nice to the people in the store, don’t haggle over 50c, its a charity store for goodness sake! Let them keep the change sometimes, its a great feeling anyway. 
  • And finally, donate back to the store!Help others get a great bargain from your treasures you no longer use. Image

Keep Calm and Carry On

This is beautifully written by another blogger Mother of Four. I couldn’t say it better, so to quote herImage:
From MckMama:
“How do you do it? How do you stay so calm with four young children?”Part of it is just how God made me, I think. I am pretty calm with my children. And, honestly, often I stay calm even in the midst of chaos because, frankly, it’s better than the alternative. A shrieking, freaking out mama is not going to make an already stressful situation any better. So, for the most part, I stay calm and try to be in the moment with my children.

But how do I do it?

There is one little bit of inspiration that literally descended upon me almost two years ago, while I was holding Nuggey in the bathroom, that has completely revolutionized my parenting. When I keep this truth in mind, I find it as easy as apple pie to stay calm in the midst of toddler chaos.

I remember that I’m gonna miss this.

It was dark, during the end of bathtime, and Prince Charming was gone. I was doing dinner, baths and bedtime myself those days, as my husband worked late. It had been, undoubtedly, a long day with the kids. Big Mac was three, Nuggey was one and a half and Small Fry was a baby. It is as clear as day still, this memory.

I was sitting on the toilet, drying MckNugget off after his bath. Small Fry, unable to roll, was sprawled on the floor of the bathroom on some towels, wearing nothing but a diaper and a grimace. Big Mac was still in the tub. He was squawking to get out and Small Fry was bellyaching for attention. But I slowly wrapped Nuggey up in his towel, determined to stay calm, and cuddled him in terrycloth. I slowly rocked him back and forth in my arms and sang Rock-a-bye Baby to my second born.

As I wrapped up the song, I prepared to sit Nuggey up and attend to the chaos that was the other children. After all, there were baths to finish, teeth to brush, diapers to put on, jammies to find and beds to tuck children into. But as he sensed me about to right him, Nuggey tossed his wet head back in my arms and looked up at me. “Uh-gain!”

So I sang Rock-a-bye Baby one more time, but I told him it would be the last. Yet when I finished, he begged again for more.

I didn’t want to do more. I didn’t want to sing to him one more time. I was tired. Tired of children, tired of singing, tired of the day. I just wanted it to be over. But then suddenly, as if fairy dust was sprinkled from the heavens right onto my tired head, the entire reality of my future set in.

I’m gonna miss this.

I looked down at little Nuggey, his damp eyelashes long and dark batting at me, his tiny bottom cradled in my hand, his soft, chubby legs thrown over my arm, his body entirely dependent on mine as I held him in my lap, and I could see the future. Nuggey, a grown boy, sporting a football jersey and facial hair, walked out of the bathroom. It was going to happen, and soon. And while I knew there would be joys with that time in my life, when our young children are teenagers and beyond, it struck me like a ton of bricks.

When that time comes, I’m gonna miss this.

When Nuggey comes home from college, barely speaks a word to me and hibernates in his bedroom all summer, I’m gonna miss this. As my mind fast forwarded to the future, I knew that at that moment, I would give anything for 20 year old Nuggey to be a toddler again, just for one more hour, so I could rock him and sing while I stroked his wet head.

And here, years earlier, I was being given my wish. I was able to rock Nuggey, a nearly helpless babe in arms, one more time.

Given a new perspective from which to see, I sang Rock-a-bye Baby as many times as Nuggey would let me that night. Eventually Small Fry found her hands and started admiring them, and Big Mac grabbed a new tub toy. And I relished that time with my son in my arms, knowing that soon enough he would be all grown, and my arms would ache to hold him like a baby again.

I’m gonna miss this.

My mind cannot help but wander to those parents who have lost children. What on earth would they not give to hold their children again, even for a moment. I bet they would not complain about having to sing Rock-a-bye Baby one more time. Rather, they would probably give their right arm to sing it ten million times until their voice was hoarse and their eyelids closed in slumber.

And women with empty wombs who long and pray and ache for children? What honor am I doing them if I take for granted the fact that I have children, young children who are begging me to cuddle them, sing to them. I will love those women who long for a baby by loving mybabies and not taking them for granted.

So, I determined right there and then in the bathroom to try to be ever thankful for the moments I do have with my children. I will not wish away their young years, always hoping to get more laundry done or other children dried off. I will relish each kiss, hug and song. I will leave their childhood behind with no regrets, no “I love you” unsaid, no cheek unkissed, no request to “Cuddle wif’ me!” turned down. Even as the macaroni flies and the Sharpie stains my table, even when there are midnight wailers and globs of Desitin under my fingernails, I know…

…I know I’m gonna miss this.

*When I say older, I mean anyone just a little further along than me…maybe without only toddlers…whether you have at least one school-aged child or are an empty-nester…here’s what I want to know:
-What have you learned, since having children, that you wished you would have known before having children?
-What would you have done differently, in regards to parenting, knowing what you know now?
-If you could do it all over again, would you limit the tv or video games or even ban them completely?
-What were some of your favorite memories spent with your children? What special activities did you enjoy together?
Please feel free to answer just one or all of these questions…or even share something that you wished you would have known when you were my age (25 for two more weeks, thank you very much) that would be beneficial for a 20 somethings gal to know.
POSTED BY KIRBY AT 12:36 AM 
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Starting the day on the right foot

When you take one minute in the morning to mentally get ready for the day, I find it makes a world of difference to my overall attitude and how I exude energy! (Exude…. What a great word!)

4 questions to start our day…

1. What am I grateful for today?
Be thankful
2. What am I excited about today?
Look forward to something
3. What am I committed to right now/today?
Have a goal

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference!

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Clever Tricks with Spring Onions

I am excited to share this with you, becuase it is such a simple idea, but helps prevent a lot of waste. I’m not the most organised person in the world, in fact I’m pretty far off the mark. So when it comes to buying and using fresh veggies, there is often sad looking wilting, dead and worse case, rotting veggies in the bottom of my fridge. So when I saw this idea I loved it, and most of all, after trying it, I loved that it works! When you buy your spring onion bunch (also known I believe as green onions) simple put them in a glass on the kitchen window sill, and keep watered. Mine lasted about 6 weeks this way, and I just chopped off a bit whenever I needed! The bonus is that more stems grew in those 6 weeks without me having to spend any more! Make sure you change the water regularly though!

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A great idea for a healthy lunch:

Whisk two eggs in a cup and season with salt and pepper, heat a touch of oil to a non- stick fry pan. Add a sprinkle of chopped spring onions, spinach or whatever you have. If you have nothing but eggs, then so be it (tastes great anyway).

On moderate heat, pour eggs into fry pan, and spin frypan until it makes a crepe shape. Wait till cooked, roll or fold up, pop on a plate and enjoy!

Takes 2 minutes to cook, high in protein, so no toast needed to fill you up, and tastes delicious.

If I’m feeling a bit naughty, I’ll add some cheese/feta! Yum!

Tomorrow, tomorrow… I love you, tomorrow, you’re only a day away!

And isn’t that the truth! Tomorrow has many a times, crept up so quickly, that I blinked and it was yesterday! So in effort to make tomorrow’s today, a wonderfully relaxing one, here are a few things I’ve learnt over the last couple of years to do (and I’m constantly adjusting this…)

1. Make more use of my ‘automatic appliances’. God bless the women of the past who actually washed their clothing by hand, and then heroically wrung it out, so that hopefully it was dry enough to hang without stretching, and dry by the end of the day! No no no, if you have a washing machine, make it work baby! But remember, you don’t have to be there to make it work! I know, crazy concept! I find the best routine is to dump the dishes in the dishwasher if you have one, or get hubby to help dry and do it together (quality time is family time) , then run around the house, grabbing all the dirty laundry out of all the hampers. Very rarely in a cold wash, do clothes run, so unless it is bright red, or are your new jeans, I find it matters very little to separate colours. If you’re going to have time in the morning to hang it up, put the machine on a long soak cycle to start in the morning, or if not, just get it to wash, and hang it on an indoor/outdoor clothes hanger like the one in this picture, just before going to bed. . If there is anything I hate more, it is re-hanging washing that got wet in the rain. Do it one, and that is it! Then in the morning, if it’s sunny, pop it outside, and if not, put it to the side (or if you’re having guest pop it away in one of the bedrooms. So that’s all for today, as I’ve got dinner to get to, But I’ll keep adding to this post, and look forward to your own ideas on making tomorrow’s today, easy, fun and worth enjoying!

Life as a Full time Mum and Part Time everything else!

I’ve decided to start a blog, as I feel that life as a full time Mum, and part-time everything-else is not only hectic, rewarding, demanding and absolutely fantastic, but that there is a wealth of knowledge and skills we learn in this role that would otherwise never be found. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention (or something like that), so I feel that mothers are the most profound inventors of ‘a few tricks up my sleeve’, or magic moments when I think to myself… ‘wow, that was a clever thing to think of doing’! I must say, most of my ‘research’ is done in the home, with my gorgeous son helping me most of the way! But, I hope that you all can be of help too as we pass information around the world of all the clever little ‘tricks up our sleeves’ for living life more efficiently, so we can have time to roll around the carpet with our little ones, or sit in parks watching them play while  enjoying a cappuccino… not worrying about what else we have to do!