A Mother’s Guilt….

20130131-175437.jpg

Why is it, that a mother spends so much of her time feeling guilty? It’s like the minute we gave birth, a pit in the bottom of our belly wasn’t filled properly and that’s where our guilt is stored. I can’t shake the feeling of guilt this week!

As you all know my precious baby girl…who will always be my baby girl to me, started school this week. It seriously only feels like yesterday that I birthed her 10 pound 2 baby body. Where has the time gone? It just doesn’t seem right that she is already off to school! When my first baby started school, he was completely ready and to be honest so was I! Bailey and Sienna are so different. Bailey has always been quite challenging and demanding where Sienna has always been my carefree sweet little pea that has been my shining light on a dark dim day! And my third baby…a lot like her brother lol!

I’ve been questioning myself…why? I’ve done this before it should be easier!! But instead of being ok with Sienna starting school, I feel guilty that she has grown up so quickly and I feel like it’s my fault, because when Sienna was 2 and a half we had our third baby and life has been like a rollercoaster since! Bailey was lucky and had me to himself for 2 and a half years before Sienna was born and Mia will now have me to herself for three years before she goes to school…what time has Sienna had with me on her own? She was fortunate enough to have a month with me on her own before Mia was born! A month!!! And in that month I was diagnosed with a heart condition and rushed in to have our baby as we didn’t know what was going to happen!

So this week I can’t help but feel guilty for my precious middle baby. All these things have gone through my head…she didn’t ask to have a baby sister! It’s not fair she hasn’t had the time with me the other two have! She’s been lost in the process of us having a third baby!!! I know it’s crazy and I shouldn’t be thinking like this, but I just can’t help it!!! Sienna has always been so soft and gentle. She was the little girl in the playground getting pushed over and the precious little poppet who always needed to know where her mummy was and the touch of her mummies hand mad everything just super! She holds her own at home with family, but is so different from my two February babies – who I love more than life itself as well, but geesh lol!!!!

Sienna has always pulled at the heart strings. She is my emotional little bunny that cries and gets her feelings hurt quite easily and suffers separation anxiety! I am extremely proud of how she is handling prep though;) It was only twelve months ago, when I dropped her off at preschool two days a week, that she would scream for me when I left. It broke my heart, but I had to walk away as I knew she would adjust…eventually! And that she did. She has grown and matured so much over the past year. She still has a few tears when I drop her off at prep and throughout her day, but is becoming so brave and holds herself together which makes it so much easier for me to turn away and leave once I can see she is happy….I know this is pay back as I did the same thing to my mother lol…but that makes it worse because I know exactly how she feels! Her little “I missed you today mummy” will eventually pass with TIME and thankfully she has the most sweetest teacher who we all adore!

Every child is different and losing each child to their schooling years also feels different! For Bailey and I, him going to school was the best thing for our relationship and that has stayed as strong as ever, but I really miss my Sie Sie girl…and so does her baby sister! And once Mia starts prep, I would have been home with the kids for 10 years so I’m guessing I’ll be celebrating lol…but really I’ll be mourning the loss of not having anymore babies at home!

I think I’ll always have a guilty feeling when it comes to my Sie Sie girl, my middle child, my thumb sucker, my June 30th baby! But I will make sure I spend forever making it up to her, not that she even notices and this is the thing…WE as mothers spend our time agonising over things and feeling guilty when our precious little gems really couldn’t give a hoot…arrrr! lol…oh the joys of being a mum!

20130131-160938.jpg
Dear Sienna,
I love you baby girl! From the minute you entered this world and were placed on my chest we formed a mother/daughter bond like no other. You are my shining star when it’s too dark to find my way and you sure know how to make me laugh. From a baby to a toddler you were such a good little poppet that never did any wrong by anyone. Your amazing smile lights up the room and you’ve always been so beautiful with your ringlet blonde hair and olive complexion. We are so proud of how far you’ve come and can’t wait to be apart of all your special occasions along the way! Be brave baby girl, once you settle and show your confidence, you have the potential to achieve anything you want!
Love Mummy…xoxoxo!

To all my fellow mummies who have had a child start kindy or prep this year be strong everything takes TIME!

Advertisements

The Gift of Time….

Well it’s happened…my second child has started prep! She was excited, happy, a little nervous and even shed a few tears but by the time I left, she was all smiles and focussed ready to start her new adventure in life!

20130129-133703.jpg

I on the other hand felt sick in the tummy for days leading up to this event, but was quite calm all morning. There was no stress as everything was organised and we were WELL on time!! Yay to that:) lol! But that moment as I walked away, I felt like I was letting go of her precious little hand that I’d held so frequently for the past 4 and a half years! I was so happy that she was happy. A year ago her preschool teacher had to untangle her screaming little soul from around my legs, so to see her content made me feel at ease. But then I it dawned on me…I couldn’t believe my Sie Sie girl was actually a school student. My life that had been with my girls for the past two years would change…now it will be just me and I my Mimi! (at this point a few tears flowed)…

20130129-134319.jpg

So many changes in one day! My eldest baby was so cool calm and collected…obviously grade 2 is when kids start to play it cool “I’ll be right mum!”…another bit of the apron string was snipped;( I had to ask Sienna to say good bye as she was all “I’m good mum” and the eldest grandchild of our family Sebby, started high school! No wonder I’ve walked around in a complete lost daze all day!

20130129-134930.jpg

To over come this sense of loss, Mia and I went and did some very necessary retail therapy:) I must admit that always cheers me up lol! I saw a couple of other preppie mums while I was out and about, which was quite comforting:) My first venture with just me and Mimi…mmm is that girl going to keep me on my toes and make for a long three years before she goes to prep lol…lucky she’s cute:)

20130129-135248.jpg

20130129-135253.jpg

Then I returned home! While I was starting to feel good about everything, I walked past the kid’s bedroom and spotted Sienna’s teddy! I couldn’t resist and had to pick it up and smell it! It was lathered in my darling girl’s sent. I was desperate to find out how she was going. I imagined her drawing, singing, laughing and having a great time just as she should have been! How these years are rolling by so fast! All I can say is cherish each and everyday you are blessed on this earth with the ones we love!

20130129-135624.jpg

Midday came around so fast, which means one thing…Mia’s nap time! This is where I kicked my own butt back into reality! There is nothing I can do with the changes that have occurred, all I can do is embrace each moment for what it is and relish in the excitement of my children! Do I wish they would stay newborns forever – yes! Do I want them to grow old – no! But I don’t have a choice so I told myself – suck it up princess and move on!!!!

20130129-135910.jpg

But with each new change brings something great and for me personally I’ve been given the gift of time! Now that I have two children at school, for the first time in 4 and a half years, I will only have one child at home which means I’ll have two hours a day to myself while Mia has her nap! Once I realised that, all those emotions I was left feeling quickly did a 360 turn lol only kidding! So this is what I shall embrace (until Mia drops her day sleep anyway lol) from all of this! I have big plans this year. I am hoping to be as organised as I’ve ever been within myself as a person, as a mother and as a house wife! Today is not included as I walked around for a while wondering what the hell to do as it was just soooo quiet! I’m sure I’ll get use to it though, with tomorrow being MY day one! I will have more time now to spend one-on-one time with Mia, I’ll be able to scrapbook and craft more and maybe even organise cupboards and rooms better than I have them!!

Before I knew it I was back up at the school to pick the kids up. I couldn’t wait to hear all about Sienna’s first day and how Bailey settled into grade 2. If Sie Sie came out smiling I knew it must have been a good one and alas she did! It’s that first day. Once it’s over and hopefully a great one, there maybe some bumps along the way but generally it’s all smooth sailing from there!

20130129-193132.jpg

This one day of every child’s life is so big…do we as parents make it bigger than it needs to be?? Maybe we do, maybe we don’t! All I know is it’s a major deal and the beginning of a very long journey that I think needs to be made a fuss of! I’ve done this twice now and today was no easier than when I did it two years ago with Bailey! All I know is, that in three years time when my littlest, my baby starts school, I will be given more than the gift of time and possibly will be found in the fetal position somewhere lol!

Highlights from first day back at school….

20130129-193631.jpg

20130129-193640.jpg

20130129-193648.jpg

20130129-193707.jpg

20130129-193725.jpg

20130129-193736.jpg

20130129-193745.jpg

20130129-193751.jpg

20130129-193800.jpg

20130129-193807.jpg

20130129-193815.jpg

20130129-193823.jpg

20130129-193829.jpg

20130129-193837.jpg

20130129-193844.jpg

20130129-193852.jpg

20130129-193901.jpg

20130129-215650.jpg

Land Down Under….

20130126-174841.jpg

Australia Day – what a great day of the year! It’s the one day where we stop and appreciate the country in which we reside. A country that is full of beautiful landscapes, a variety of weather patterns and of course hard working and down to earth people!! Our country Australia is the place we call home!

20130126-162954.jpg
Burleigh, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia…my favourite place in Australia!

I love Australia! I’m so proud to call myself an Aussie and I always wear our country colours with absolute pride and dignity! We are so very fortunate to live in a country with government support, clean water and supplies at our finger tips. The opportunities are grand and we are blessed to be able to access great things such as our health and education systems! Like everything, our country is not perfect, but compared to the alternative and what other countries face, I think we are doing pretty good!

How do you celebrate Australia Day? Australia Day for us is all about family! Usually we leave early for a beach and have a big cooked breakfast with our family! But for the past couple of years the weather hasn’t been kind. Today we’ve spent the day at my sister’s house eating plenty of yummy food and drinking some nice cold beverages! The boys have been betting on the horses and us girls have been chatting, singing and dancing with the kids, watching the tennis and of course preparing the food and then cleaning it all up (with help from the men)!! It’s actually been really lovely and we’ve done lots of relaxing:)

Highlights from our day….

20130126-163636.jpg

20130126-163644.jpg

20130126-163649.jpg

20130126-163654.jpg

20130126-163719.jpg

20130126-163736.jpg

20130126-163747.jpg

20130126-175409.jpg

20130126-175417.jpg

20130126-175423.jpg

20130126-175429.jpg

20130126-175439.jpg

To all my fellow Aussie readers…I hope you’ve had a wonderful day celebrating just how fortunate and lucky we are to live in the land down under!!!

20130126-163924.jpg

20130126-192006.jpg

20130126-192031.jpg
Funny faces!!!

When I Grow up I want to be……

20130124-194359.jpg

It only feels like yesterday I was sitting on the carpet of 1 Green’s floor in front of Mrs Brown listening to a story. I was 6 years old, as fresh as a daisy ready to embrace the world of learning. I was shy, reserved (I know shocking lol), apprehensive about what to expect. I cried from one day to the next when mum dropped me off, for at least the first couple of weeks. Eventually I learnt to trust the situation I was in. I loved my teacher. I loved my friends and before long I loved school. That little shy, reserved 6 year, who would enjoy playing make-believe teachers always asked herself the question….when I grow up, what do I want to be? I remember saying a hairdresser, medical receptionist, a nurse and a teacher was commonly spoken about!

It seriously felt within a blink of an eye, I was being asked that very same question by my high school’s Guidance Officer! This time it wasn’t a hypothetical question. I had to respond. I had a Qtac form to fill out! It’s such a huge time of life completing high school and then being faced with the big bad world. Where to from there? It’s been 16 years now since I answered my Guidance Officer’s question. I didn’t originally put teaching first, I actually preferenced nursing first and it wasn’t until I changed my Qtac form to primary education before second round offers were handed out, that my teaching journey was to start!

Going from a year 12 student, where I was school captain, everyone knew me I knew everyone to a university campus with many different age groups of people, was so daunting to begin with, but I was lucky enough to have a few friends from high school studying the same degree, which helped with some of the nerves. The first semester was the hardest. Learning the way of university life. Learning the expectations of assignment writing, research techniques, exam procedures….it was a whole new world which became a part of my everyday life for the next four years! I remember stepping in a classroom for the first time. I was only to observe and I had butterflies. Then in my third year it was my turn to teach for the first time. I was up to my ears in lesson plans, resources and activities and I loved it all! It was in my third year where I sincerely knew I made the right decision to become a teacher!

My final year at Uni was brilliant! I loved every minute of it! As each month passed by, the puzzle to this big picture was closer to being complete! I had a fantastic experience for my final prac, which I believe was the making of the teacher that I became and still am to this day! And if I thought I had butterflies in my stomach when I first stepped into a classroom as an observing prac student, they were nothing like the night before my very first day of teaching! I hardly slept a wink! I couldn’t stop thinking about everything. What was my class going to be like? Will I be able to cope? Am I organised enough? My very first day of teaching was nothing short of fantastic!!!! I was finally doing what I loved. A teacher with my very own class….who to this day will always hold a special place in my heart!

That day was 12 years ago now! My gosh how things have changed since then. For the first four years of my career, teaching was my everything! I lived breathed and ate it every chance I got…I didn’t have a choice at first, that’s usually what happens when you first start a job! The students became like my own and I had such a wonderful relationship with my fellow staff members, admin, students and parents of the community! From year to year I built on my skills, confidence and ability as a teacher. I took on roles and responsibilities that suited my strengths and always loved the challenge! Then I bought a house, then I got married, then I had my first baby, then I had my second baby, which took me to 7 years of teaching!

Like I said I loved being a classroom teacher. I loved educating, helping and supporting kids and challenging and extending the gifted. The bond between a teacher and their students really is something so special and I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to experience that time and time again. But at 7 years I was faced with teaching special ed. Like anything it was a bit daunting at first, but within a few weeks, I knew this would become my new passion. I was ready for my career to take a path change and the flexibility when having little ones at home yourself, really came in handy. In such a short space of time I went from a class special ed teacher to a TAEA which in plain English meant I was at a small school 2 days a week and ran their special ed program. This job was brilliant! It allowed me to challenge not only myself as a professional, but it has given me many leadership skills that I still use to this day. It also helped me in the next role that I took on which was a behaviour teacher.

Being a Behaviour Advisory Teacher (BAT – teachers called me Nat the Bat lol) gave me a great opportunity to experience a different field to special ed, although dealing with a lot of the behaviour was very similar, the processes of each job is quite different. In this role I was also given several opportunities to experience a Deputy Principal role which I thoroughly enjoyed. I felt at this point in my career I was at the crossroads of deciding what I wanted to pursue….a Head of Special ed role or a Deputy Principal role….then I fell pregnant with my Mimi girl! Didn’t this throw a spanner in the works. We were all but convinced that we weren’t able to have any more children due to a thyroid problem that I had, turns out once I had half my thyroid removed, that completely fixed any problems conceiving!!!

Something changed in me having my third baby. My whole perspective on life, my attitude, it just all changed. I know that being diagnosed with a heart condition while pregnant had a lot to do with this. My focus changed. I always loved being a mum and being a mum was the most important job, but once I became a mum of three it was my only role in my eyes! When I had to return to work after my third baby, after having 13 months off, I didn’t want to be there. I’d lost my ‘teaching’ focus, my passion went missing and I really didn’t see it coming back anytime soon! But then I was placed back in a special ed role, with wonderful people and although it took quite a few months, I eventually found my way back on the right track again!

I’ve been back to work for 12 months now and I’m happy to say that my passion for teaching and learning is as strong as it’s ever been. I absolutely love my special ed role. I’ve gone from a middle to upper school teacher to a prep/1/2 special ed teacher and no matter what I’ve experienced so far as a teacher, I’ve loved every minute of it. Like anything there has been many lows which I’ve reflected on and learnt from, but a mountain of highs that I’ve been able to share and celebrate with many. Am I still the same teacher I was 12 years ago, hell no way! I’ve grown up, I’ve become a mother! I still have the same beliefs and philosophy, but I’m more compassionate than ever, more patient then ever and I have a better understanding of children, their parents and the world in which they come from. So many people are still pondering and reluctant to finish the sentence – when I grow up I want to be…..I’m happy to say that I’ve made a great career choice in becoming a teacher and wouldn’t have it any other way!

20130124-194322.jpg

Techno World!

20130120-194221.jpg

My how times have changed! Growing up in the 80s we played outside in the cubby house, rode our bikes everywhere, lived on our swing set and would only watch tv at 4pm when play school was on! Now there are kids television shows on from dusk till dawn, they have a variety of remotes from an xbox, Wii or play station at their fingertips, which if allowed would take up most of their day so very little time spent playing outside in the glorious sunshine!

I’m the first to admit that we own most of the things mentioned above, but I’ve also made strict rules on when they can be used and how long for! Prior to these school holidays the only thing my children really enjoyed doing was watching tv r playing the iPad. We’ve had an Xbox for a couple of years now and recently was given a Wii, but the kids hardly showed any interest in them so there wasn’t any need for strict rules to be in place! Well things have changed! Bailey has discovered the Xbox!!!!

Our usual at home play routine would be drawing/craft, lego, construction type stuff in the mornings and then in the afternoon would be the trampoline, swing set, cubby house or going for a bike or scooter ride! They watch tv mostly first thing when they wake up and when Mia is having her day sleep. We go out a far bit in the mornings whether it’s to the beach, theme parks or playgrounds and if we swim at mum and dad’s, it’s usually in the afternoons! The Xbox was hardly spoken about, in fact it would go days sometimes without being played! The kids like to play the iPad and occasionally will have a turn on the laptop! They both have iPods and enjoy listening to music or playing games on them too!

Now I know what you’re thinking…we’re the ones who buy these things for them! Correct! We live in a world now that is dominated by technology and I think we are hindering our children if we don’t expose them to it. BUT I am also a firm believer that our kids should be exposed to all things great and small! We may allow our children to have the technology in our home, but that certainly doesn’t prevent our children from playing outside in the fresh air and sunlight….I make sure this happens!

Before now it didn’t really bother me too much as I was happy that our children spent plenty of time away from technology, but since Bailey has become obsessed with the Xbox, I see what it can do to their little minds! He’s gone from this happy boy who usually asks me a week in advance where we’re going and what we’re doing, to declining a visit to nanny and poppy’s for a swim (which he never does)! He gets frustrsted when something doesn’t go right on the game and if he’s really engrossed in what he’s doing and he’s asked to have a shower, the monster rares his ugly head!! I don’t think so son…it’s time mean mumma steps in!

This has happened just in a short space of time. As soon as I noticed these things happening I put rules in place. Now, the Xbox can only be played for 1 hour at a time morning and afternoon. Never before breakfast or after dinner and once back to school never before school or never before homework is done and never after his shower! I guess the saying goes you have to be cruel to be kind! When Bailey was told his time was up this afternoon, he carried on “I just need to finish this section mum!” I gave him a warning and he still carried on, so he is banned from playing the Xbox tomorrow. This parenting gig was never meant to be easy! But I’m not here to make sure my children want to be best friends with me, as parents it’s our job to create an environment for our children to hopefully become well rounded, respectful and responsible human beings!

I’m the first to admit I’d be lost without my iPhone and iPad, but I’m still and always will be an outdoors kinda girl and I know how to have a balance life between both! And as they say children can become products of their parents! If we spent all day in front of technology, then what right have we got to say to our children “go outside and play you’ve been sitting in front of that for long enough!” We also need to set an example!

I guess like anything it’s about being able to find a balance, which is what we had going so nicely up until this week…surely it’s a phase and we’ll jump over this hurdle like all the other ones that have been put in our path! It’s already pretty scary how advanced technology is today compared to even when I went to high school…gosh I remember green monitors and typewriters lol! But to be successful with our jobs and so forth in the future, it is important to expose our children to technology but to also still expose them to the wonderful world of free play! Because no technology will ever be able to replace dress ups, make believe mummies and daddies and of course making home made mud pies or your regular game of backyard footy or cricket!

20130120-194301.jpg

Back To School!

Almost 5 weeks out of 6 are already gone for the summer school holidays! I don’t know about you, but they have flown by!!! They really have been awesome though! The weather has been sensational and we’ve managed to squeeze in almost everything from the beach, movies, theme parks, play dates and swimming…did I mention swimming!!! I’m sure my kids must be water logged by now! And of course this time of year is always spent the best with family and friends!

But as the holidays draw closer to finishing, there is so much to think about and the hottest topic on most mum’s lips at the moment is back to school! Are you organised? Have you started? For some they’ll be old hats at the back to school schedule but for others they could be entering a whole new world! I’m an old hat now, with my son starting grade 2, but my daughter is about to be a little preppie!!!

Even though I’ve done this before I always feel a sense of anxiety in the pit of my stomach when my children start prep…I just want everything to be perfect for my poppet so she feels safe, comfortable, happy and relaxed! I was like this with Bailey and worse as he was my first at this whole school mum thing! But last year when he started year 1 I was fine and now starting year 2 even more fine!! It’s the prep year that pulls at the heart strings…and anxiety ones lol! I’m happy to say I’ve just about organised everything! Just a school hat for Bailey once the uniform shop opens next week, a library bag for Sienna and hair cuts each and the kids will be all good to go for another school year!

So what is the back to school essentials on everyone’s list?

This is what mine are…..

*Uniform….shirt, shorts/skorts, dress shoes, sports shoes, socks and a hat!
Most of this stuff can be purchased from the school’s uniform shop. I always purchase the school shirts and hats from the uniform shop, but the shorts/skorts I always purchase at Best and Less or Big W along with the socks and track suit for winter.

20130116-131432.jpg
Brings happy tears to my eyes to see my little girl all ready for prep!

*Bag….something not to small that very little will fit or not too big that it weighs them down and a backpack I think is the way to go!

20130116-131653.jpg

*Lunch time…lunchbox, food containers, ice block and water bottles are my four essentials.
I always go through a trial run with the kids to make sure they can manage opening all of their own things as well!

20130116-131939.jpg

*Labels….I label everything and if a label won’t stick I’ll use a marker to write their name! Too many times things go missing around a school yard and if it’s clearly labeled then the chance of it being found is greater!

20130116-132141.jpg

*Library bag….as long as it has a draw string that can be closed tight so their library bag doesn’t fall out if tipped upside down!

20130116-132357.jpg

*Hair clips for girls…I have a friend on Facebook that has her own business called Candie Clips who custom makes school clips in the school colours. They are gorgeous and so reasonably price. Sienna’s pack cost me $22 with postage!

20130116-132748.jpg

*Front Pouch…in the front pouch of my children’s backpack I always include a zip lock bag with a couple of spare pairs of undies and socks and I also include in the pouch a raincoat!

20130116-132952.jpg

At Runcorn Heights, they have a policy until grade 3 where all stationery is provided by the school at a cost to each family. It certainly takes the pressure off of having to cover and label every piece of equipment…I’ll have the pleasure of doing that for the first time next year!

Once everything is purchased, we always have a trial run or should I say dress rehearsal to make sure everything is ok, fits nicely and feels comfortable! We did that today:) The kids were so excited. It brought me back to when I would start each school year! I loved new things. New socks, new shoes, new bag! And Now that I’m a teacher I still love the beginning of a new school year…now it means a new diary, pens, notebooks and just a whole new beginning!

20130116-134020.jpg
All ready for grade 2…although by his size he looks like he should be in grade 4 lol!

20130116-134115.jpg
My little big girl ready to take on the world of Prep!

So on that note I’d like to wish everyone a wonderful and successful school year for 2013. I get to start my working school year on 3 weeks long service leave so I can be there for my preppie while she settles in! Enjoy the remaining time of the school holidays, I’m having a ball with my babies and will continue to enjoy them as life will be different for me only having one child at home now! Good luck to all the preppies starting school and all the mums (be strong) and new school mums! Being a school mum is great…lots of social gatherings and relishing in our children as a community!

20130116-134626.jpg
They’ll be back to school before we know it!

The Year of Independence!

When a new year begins I often just sit and gaze at my children while they are enjoying a splash in the pool on a hot summers day and think about what I’d like to see for them throughout the year. I guess you could call it new year resolutions for the young:) In past years I’ve concentrated on things like following an instruction straightaway, cleaning up their toys before they go onto something else or little things like put your pjs on your bed when you get dressed in the morning or take your plate to the kitchen when finished. All these little things when chipped away at, leads to the molding of a respectable and responsible little human being!

I’m quite happy with where my children are presently at! They are capable of so many more things now that they are getting older and it’s nice that there are a few of us now to pitch in and help when it’s needed! Even though they are almost 7, 2 and four and a half, they are all becoming helpful in one way or another! The success of this I believe is consistency. For anything to work, it has to be consistently practiced and from a young age, otherwise it just doesn’t sink in!

Just recently my two eldest children have really discovered the benefit of money and love receiving it for gifts! But of course once it’s spent they want more! So I thought it was time, time for the two little words I have been waiting to use until the time is right…pocket money! When I mentioned to them that they could earn pocket money by being responsible for certain things around the house, they were super excited and listened attentively while I explained that we go out to work to earn money and that is how pocket money works.

Each child has been given 5 jobs that I know they are capable to do. This was done by negotiation between myself and the child. Most jobs are daily ones that are a huge help to the running of our home. At the end of the week, if they have done their jobs well and consistently without any complaining, they get $5 (basically $1 per job)! They asked what they were allowed to spend their money on…my reply was something specific that they need wanted or needed. They are always saying I need new shoes or I need a new skate board. Now they can learn the art of saving for things they want or need!

20130113-184231.jpg

20130113-184237.jpg
Jobs chart that reminds them what they need to do to earn their money:)

It’s day 3 and so far so good. All I have to say is “Bailey or Sienna you need to do your job!” and they ask which one and do it! I’ve had the occasional whine and all I’ve said is “a dollar will be taken away if you don’t do your job properly!” and they soon change their tune! My aim of this is to create independence and responsibility around the running of a home. At this stage I don’t expect them to be cooking dinner or even doing the dishes yet, but it’s never too early to create independence in a child.

Right from when my children start toddling I start teaching them to pack their toys away, get the stuff to change their nappy or get a cup or plate out of the cupboard. By the time my kids are one they are usually pretty good with their receptive skills and can follow a command quite well. Again it’s the consistency in this practice that makes it a success. For Mia this year her independence will come from toilet training. She is about to turn 2 next month and is coming along so well with both her receptive and expressive language, so at some stage between now and mid year I’d love to think she will be toilet trained.

2 is the perfect age for establishing independence with feeding themselves and helping with odd things around the house. Mia loves helping (sometimes too much lol) and of course it’s so important to praise them when they do! Even my two older children thrive on praise. Bailey asked “when we do our job well do we get extra money?”…my response “no mate I’ll praise you and give you a high 5!”…his response his beautiful little grin:)

I don’t for one second think that children are our human slaves, but if we start teaching independence and responsibility from when they are little, it not only will help them when they start school, but hopefully will carry onto their adult life. Now that my husband has a new job with long hours and I work two days a week to, it’s all about pitching in and helping together! And I don’t care what gender you are, everyone should be taught this. I know it’s way off, but I’d love to think once my children marry, their respective partners appreciate the up bringing our children have had!

So it’s a big year in My Party of 5’s house! We’ll have 2 children in school now Sienna is starting prep and once Mia is out of nappies we won’t have a baby anymore:( But we have so much to look forward to!

20130113-184908.jpg
Thumbs up for pocket money:)!!!

D is for Dress!!!!!

It’s been a while since I posted a fashion blog and more than ever I am loving the fashion at the moment! It’s quite versatile, bright and laced all things that I like! My aim, like I did for winter, was to compile a list of summer essentials, but due to the busyness of Christmas and holidaying, I haven’t had the time. Instead throughout summer I will update my bargain purchases cause who doesn’t like a bargain???

Recently I’ve discovered the love of a dress again. I’ve always liked dresses and have quite a few, but for me it’s one of those items that I go through a phase with…and yes I’m in a dress phase at the moment! After having a clean out of my wardrobe recently I was left with very little choice of dresses, but I’m happy to say that I’ve made some bargain purchases lately to help fix that situation!

My recent purchases….

20130110-174813.jpg

20130110-174818.jpg
My two bargain purchases from K-Mart…on sale $8 each thank you very much! Dress them up with some black heels, a black clutch bag, nice big black earrings and hair down or swooped up with a flower and you’ll be all ready to party!

20130110-175042.jpg

20130110-175050.jpg
A wardrobe always needs some lovely maxi dresses…yellow one was $15 from SES and the beige one was $50 from a shop at Burleigh…both oh so summery!

20130110-175402.jpg

20130110-175439.jpg

20130110-175449.jpg

20130110-175500.jpg
My local shopping centre at Calamvale has a cute little boutique store called In Style…these dresses I purchased for $10 each accept for my blue one which was $50!

20130110-175648.jpg
Love this little casual dress for any girly occasion from Ice for $10!

My favourite out of all of them is my blue party dress I bought to wear for my husband’s Christmas party…it’s nice to get all dolled up, even if it is every now and again!

So there you have it my recent dress fetish…now to have somewhere to wear them to…must be time for a girls night out???

20130110-190647.jpg

Surf, Sand, Swimming…Sensational!

20130108-144227.jpg

Sun shining days, cool breezes, crashing surf and the smell of the coastal salt air…this is what we were engrossed in for the past week! Burleigh Heads Gold Coast, what a fantastic place to holiday!

It has been three years since we went on a holiday longer than 3 nights and after the ordinary year we had, we decided to treat ourselves and the kids to a 7 night stay at a lovely little resort style apartment block called Key Largo! What a perfect place for children. Only three floors high (we were on the second floor), all the rooms overlooked the beautiful yard and in ground pool. There was so much room for the kids to kick their footy or ride their scooters, it was like a home away from home!

We were so blessed with such sensational weather that we stayed an extra night which sealed the deal to make it the best coastal holiday we’ve ever had! The kids had so much fun where ever we went…beach, creek, pool! They swam, went fishing, collected shells, dug holes, built sand castles, rode their scooters for many kilometers and played cricket on the beach! They also enjoyed lots of quiet time where they would just chill, watch tv, colour in, play cards, listen to music, all things relaxing!

I spent most of my time having a holiday through the eyes of my children, remembering when I was little girl and how much fun I would have with my family when we use to go on holidays! On a couple of occasions I spent some time on my own wandering the shops, where I made a few lovely purchases and I even managed the odd swim on my own and time relaxing by the pool! My favourite spot was sitting on our balcony looking out to the beautiful view we were faced with and of course I got to do lots of running throughout the week!

My husband kicked back and watched a lot of tv when the kids were having quiet time and he was able to enjoy an odd afternoon of horse betting and beers. Although we spent 90% of our time as a family enjoying each other’s company, we all got to do our favourite things at one time or another! But it was the moments where the five of us were swimming in the ocean, strolling along the beach and eating fish and chips together that we’re the most enjoyable!

Here are some highlights of our fantastic getaway….

20130108-144309.jpg
On our way…the car was so full we could hardly see the kids lol!

The pool/spa…
20130108-144353.jpg20130108-144413.jpg20130108-144419.jpg20130108-144430.jpg20130108-144439.jpg20130108-144456.jpg20130108-144505.jpg20130108-144523.jpg
Bay was so proud of himself that he could do a lap and a bit under the water holding his breath:)
20130108-144648.jpg

The beach….
20130108-144726.jpg20130108-144732.jpg20130108-144746.jpg20130108-144752.jpg20130108-144758.jpg20130108-144804.jpg20130108-144812.jpg20130108-144825.jpg20130108-144830.jpg20130108-144840.jpg20130108-144847.jpg20130108-144854.jpg20130108-144908.jpg

20130108-145007.jpg

20130108-145042.jpg

20130108-145116.jpg

Our nightly walks….

20130108-145500.jpg

20130108-145516.jpg

20130108-145525.jpg

20130108-145547.jpg

20130108-145612.jpg

20130108-145626.jpg

20130108-145638.jpg

20130108-145704.jpg

A day at Tallebudgera Creek….

20130108-145754.jpg

20130108-145808.jpg

20130108-145822.jpg

20130108-145837.jpg

Eating out…

20130108-145934.jpg

20130108-145945.jpg

20130108-145955.jpg

20130108-150003.jpg

20130108-150015.jpg

20130108-150106.jpg

Chilling out….

20130108-150229.jpg

20130108-150245.jpg

20130108-150327.jpg

20130108-150339.jpg

20130108-150352.jpg

Family time….

20130108-150509.jpg

20130108-150516.jpg

20130108-150523.jpg

20130108-150530.jpg

20130108-150538.jpg

20130108-150605.jpg

20130108-150623.jpg

20130108-150641.jpg

20130108-150658.jpg

20130108-150712.jpg

20130108-150725.jpg

20130108-150747.jpg

20130108-150754.jpg

Keeping active….

20130108-151040.jpg

20130108-151048.jpg

20130108-151100.jpg

20130108-151120.jpg

20130108-151134.jpg

20130108-151142.jpg

20130108-151153.jpg

20130108-151208.jpg

20130108-151231.jpg

20130108-151247.jpg

20130108-151321.jpg

20130108-151329.jpg

20130108-151347.jpg

Collecting shells…

20130108-151427.jpg

20130108-151434.jpg

20130108-151441.jpg

20130108-151509.jpg
Little limbs and sand always looks so sweet together!!!

I absolutely love looking through our holiday photos, they do now and will always bring back such wonderful memories! We are already looking forward to our next holiday there, where we will do it all over again and create new memories to cherish forever! It was great saying goodbye to a tough year and seeing in the new year in a beautiful environment…certainly a great start to 2013!

20130108-190732.jpg
I’m so blessed to have been able to spend such a fantastic week with the four loves of my life:)

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 10,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 17 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.