31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

2012 has been a good year overall. It has been hard work, but not in a bad way, just in a first-full-year-of-having-three-kids way. It has been a huge year. Just some of the milestones include:


I am happy that the year is ending. We've achieved a lot, but I'm tired. I always feel motivated by a new year and all the promise it holds and so I welcome 2013. I will look back at 2012 with a little smile though, perhaps tinged with a little nostalgia, as it is in a way our last "baby" year. In 2013 MissyMoo2 (3) will start pre-school, MissyMoo3 (15 months) will start day care and I will slightly increase my work hours in a routine which I envisage (and hope!) will be in place for the next few years.

I'm content with where we are in our lives as a family. I have finally reached a point in my life at which I am generally happy with and confident in who I am and where I am. For this reason, my new year's resolutions for 2013 won't be drastic. When I wrote my new year's resolutions twelve months ago I had a 5-year-old about to start school, a 2-year-old who'd only just had her first haircut and a newborn in a pavlik harness. Twelve months is a long time - this time next year I'll have a 7-year-old who will have completed her second year of schooling, a 4-year-old who will have done a year at pre-school and a 2-year-old who might be about to have her first haircut. So my resolutions for 2013 will centre around doing what needs to be done for my family to flourish and be happy:

  1. All of my resolutions for 2012 (they were good!)
  2. Be open to saying "yes" more. Now you might think that this contradicts one of my earlier resolutions, but not in the way I mean it. I intend to be sensible about saying "no" when I need to. But I also want to say "yes" to experiences which might challenge us or add fun and laughter to our lives.
  3. Be less grouchy. I don't want to be grumpy at the MissyMoos as much. I will try to take a breath before I answer, to give myself time to consider my approach to things with them.
  4. Be organised. I'm not too bad at this, but I find that I do let it slide at home sometimes. I'd like to stay on top of this in 2013.
  5. Keep reading :-)
Thanks for being a part of my blogging journey in 2012. Hope you stick around for 2013 :-)

Happy New Year!

30 December 2012

Christmas 2012


We had a lovely Christmas this year. As has become customary in recent years, Christmas Eve was spent at home. After putting reindeer food out on the front lawn, we attended children's Mass at our local church and MissyMoo1 (6) was able to participate for the first time, as she's now at school. It was lovely to be able to share in this with our community and to say Merry Christmas to many friends in one place.

Getting home after church, it was the MissyMoos' bedtime, but there was still much to be done:


It's lovely waking up at home on Christmas morning. MissyMoo1 (6) called out at 5:45am - we told her to go back to bed and, surprisingly, she managed to hold out until 6:05am at which point we were all up and preparing to open presents. Santa had obviously been to our house as there were a few extra presents under the tree, MissyMoo stockings were full and then there was this:


Mid morning we went to Nonna and Par's house for food, fun and family time:


We slept there Christmas night, which was fantastic. It meant no driving around or rushing to pack the car.

Nonna and I played cards late into the night, while Hubby and Par watched a movie. It had been years since we'd played Sicilian cards and I'm a bit embarrassed to say that it took us a little while to remember how to play Scopa and Briscola - but we remembered in the end.



I have fond memories of playing cards and Tombola with my parents, sister, Nonni and Zii at Christmas time growing up. Nonna and I had a lot of laughs and have resolved to do it more often. We might even have to dig out the old Tombola set next time!

Santa reads my blog!

My team at work did Secret Santa a couple of weeks ago. I was very fortunate that my Secret Santa had read my blog post about what I want for Christmas. S/he very cleverly answered all of my wishes and explained each gift in a letter.

1. The ability to make a decision ... and stick to it:

It's on the fridge

2. Patience :

Cheeky Santa

3. A new oven:

Next best thing, right?

4. A mute button for the whinging:

I've had to keep this one under wraps so that MissyMoo2 (3) isn't reminded of her babyhood dummy addiction

5. A tidy craft cupboard:
Christmas craft supplies added by yours truly

Not a bad collection, thanks Santa :-)

28 December 2012

2012 resolution wrap up

At the end of 2011 I made some resolutions for this year. And now, a year later, lets have a look at how well I've done at keeping up with my hopes for 2012. Have I managed to keep my resolutions?

1. De-stress. This will involve not putting myself into situations for which the stress involved is not worth the benefit gained from the activity. It will also involve doing things which I know to keep me calm and sane!

This is a yes and a no. I'm still a stress head. But I'm trying not to be. I have taken a lot on this year, but I haven't gone too overboard and I think overall I've managed okay. As for doing things which keep me calm and sane, well that has gone pretty well. I blog when I can, go for walks/jogs when I need air and have my monthly mummy dinners out, as well as joining in with Old Ducks when I can make it. I think I'm doing enough for "me time".

2. Learn to say "no" sometimes. This will assist with point 1 above.

I have done this a couple of times this year. We stopped the ballet lessons when things got too much. When MissyMoo3 got mobile, I stopped volunteering at MissyMoo1's school as I couldn't give the kindy kids the attention they needed with two little ones to watch. There have also been little things here and there which I have said no to, which have kept our sanity.

3. Enjoy my family. Watch them, engage with them, play with them, show them how much I love them.

I have done this, but I think I can do it more. Sometimes it's hard to see the kids for the housework...

4. Spend less time on the Internet. This means only once or twice per day and putting the iPhone down! Maybe also an Internet-free day once a month or so. This will assist with point 3 above.

Yes and no. I was doing really well at the start of the year, but then I got my own smartphone and went a little crazy. Now I'm over having it as an appendage and I think I'm striking a decent balance.

5. Listen to music a bit each day (not the nursery rhyme variety).

I haven't done this. I'd forgotten about this resolution. I might have to do this next year.

6. Smile.

I've done a lot of smiling this year. But I've also done a fair bit of grouching. I can do more of this next year (the smiling, not the grouching) :-)



In addition to my personal resolutions, during 2012 I also set some goals for my blog. Let's revisit those, shall we?

1. 20,000 pageviews by the end of 2012. I've nailed this one. The goal was reached in November. Now the blog's all-time pageviews have surged past 25,000 - happy dance!

2. 120 Facebook fans by the end of 2012. At current count, there are 159 real people who are fans and another 55 pages, bringing the total to 214.

3. To have an ad placement in 2012. I have had one - only one, at the end of October/early November, but goal achieved!

4. Not to host any more themes. This was an easy one to tick!




Do you make resolutions or goals? How did you go this year?

27 December 2012

Amazing


As at this morning we had no firm plans for the coming week. That doesn't happen very often!

24 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 24


23 December 2012

The tooth fairy visits again

A few weeks ago, the tooth fairy made her second visit to our home.

MissyMoo1 (6) had been wobbling her tooth for a few days beforehand and it was barely hanging on, but she was growing despondent as it just would not come out and she couldn't bring herself to yank it out. Cue the post Little Athletics sausage sizzle: upon biting into her sanga, the sausage went in her mouth and the tooth came out!

MissyMoo1 had already decorated a little pouch for her tooth in readiness for the tooth fairy's visit:


She also wrote the fairy a note:


And, the tooth fairy wrote back!


Needless to say, she was one excited little girl when she woke up in the morning :-)


Advent calendar: day 23


22 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 22


21 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 21


20 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 20


19 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 19


18 December 2012

IBOT about IBOT

The MissyMoos are asleep, but haven't been asleep for long enough to make me confident that they will stay asleep if I make noise tidying up the kitchen, so here's my opportunity to blog!

As it's the last IBOT for 2012, I thought I'd write today's post about blogging on Tuesdays.

I've been linking up with Essentially Jess with IBOT for a few weeks now. I really like doing it. I have found a lot of new blogs to look at and have received some lovely comments on some of my posts too.

It can be a bit tricky though, this IBOT thing. I have to be organised to IBOT because IWOT, so I am out of the house for most of the day in the office, far away from blogging. If I'm organised, IBOM late at night and schedule the post for 6am on the Tuesday, so it looks like IBOT. Then, on the Tuesday morning, I manage to link up in the midst of getting us all ready for work / school / hanging at home with Nonna. To give back some IBOT love, I try to get back on the computer on Tuesday nights, to read a few other IBOT posts, comment and generally catch up on blogginess. Sometimes this doesn't happen, though, and IBOT reading can turn into IROW or IROT (not the Tuesday "T" - the later one...)

Lucky I love this blogging caper, cos it doesn't pay much and it takes up a lot of time. But I do gain from it in the stories I read and the people I "meet".

I'm back at a place where I have so many posts floating around in my mind and very little opportunity to write them. But I'm sure that some down time in Christmas holidays will lead to a little more blog time too.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE (in a week!)

Advent calendar: day 18


17 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 17


Here's another printable from Kidspot.

MissyMoo1 (6) asked: "Why is the elf sticking out his little finger while he has his cuppa?"

16 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 16


At the time I prepared the Advent calendar, I didn't realise how sparse our collection of Christmas stories actually is. There are a couple coming our way as Christmas presents, but that's still 9 days away :-)

We managed to rustle up a few:

We read the story for 25th December
The first Christmas story :-)
A gorgeous story for kids and beautifully illustrated

15 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 15


14 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 14


Being a Friday, I thought it would be a good night to stay out late to look at Christmas lights. It gets dark so late (I've said this before, but Christmas lights must be yet another northern hemisphere Christmas import  which is a little less practical for those of us south of the equator), so I planned this activity for a Friday night.

The MissyMoos were happy this morning when they found out they'd be looking at lights tonight. After a big evening of Little Athletics and dinner out with friends, it was finally dark enough to go driving around our area. There's a street close by which gets right into it every year, and it was no less spectacular this year. We  played Christmas music in the car as all three MissyMoos oohed and aahed at the beautiful lights displays.

And they were quick to get to sleep once they went to bed too. Win!

13 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 13


This is another one from Kidspot. MissyMoo1 (6) and MissyMoo2 (3) both gave Rudolph a pink nose (so girly!).

12 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 12

Link to printable

MissyMoo1 (6) and MissyMoo2 (3) loved this one. They coloured half of it beautifully this morning. We have quite a few half-done colouring in pages at the moment because there isn't enough time in the mornings for them to finish the pictures before the school run. I think we'll have to have a colouring in catch up session soon!

12/12/12



Wordless Wednesday link up at:

11 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 11



All I want for Christmas

...is my two front teeth.

Sorry, I started singing that song when MissyMoo3 was teething with her two front teeth a few months back and now every time I hear the words "all I want for Christmas", I mentally finish off the sentence in the abovementioned fashion.

I have been tagged by Lara at This Charming Mum and Jodi at Mummyhood101 to do an "All I want for Christmas" post. This started with Essentially Jess last Tuesday, so I thought it only fitting to do it today and share it on Jess' IBOT.

As others have said, a lot of the good ones are gone. I've seen a few Christmas wishes in the past week floating around the blogosphere, such is the power of the "post and tag", particularly when started by someone as lovely as Jess. I'm going to stick to what's in my head and heart right now, regardless of whether it has been done before, 'cos that's how I roll ;-)

(1) The ability to make a decision ... and stick to it

Hubby and I joke that we're great at making decisions, just not so good at sticking to them. I really could have a whole series of blog posts running at the moment on our decision-making process with respect to our home and our plans for it over the next few years. Do we subdivide, sell, stay, or another combination or permutation of the lot? I'm not blogging about it for now, as the thought process itself is so tiring that I don't have the energy to get it all on paper (or computer screen). Suffice it to say that all of the thinking has been done - there is very little left to figure out factually. But what we do with the information that we have and how we direct our lives - more or less debt, for example - is a decision we make and then change over and over again. We know the cycle. It's breaking the cycle by sticking to a choice which is what I'd like Santa to bring me this Christmas.

(2) Patience

I've said that since having my third MissyMoo, I no longer have reserves of patience. I try not to fly off the handle at the kids, but I get worn down. It sounds like I'm making excuses. I guess I am. I don't like myself when I'm not calm. I want to be able to just take a deep breath and stay focussed on displaying behaviours that I want my children to also display. Sometimes I pray for patience and I feel better. Other times I don't and I feel drained. But if Santa could bring me a double dose to see me through the Silly Season of junk food and consequently grouchy children, I'd be grateful.

(3) A new oven

My oven is so hard to clean and it's just generally annoying. So a new one would be nice.

(4) A mute button for the whinging

We all do it, some more than others. The MissyMoos' whinging is one of my triggers for the crankiness mentioned in (2) above. That and a bad night's sleep. Put the two together and I'm not the best company.

(5) A tidy craft cupboard

No matter how much I tidy, cull and arrange, it always ends up looking like a craft explosion after about 30 seconds...


So now, I think I'm suppose to tag 5 others to post about what they'd like for Christmas. Here they are:

Back in G-Town
Mother Down Under
Mummy's Undeserved Blessings
The Aussie Hausfrau
Twinkle in the Eye

(Please ignore if you have already been tagged or if you don't have time to do the post - it's optional!)


10 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 10


Today's activity is another pretty printable from the Kidspot site.

09 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 9


This printable came from the Kidspot website. As much as they liked the other activities, the MissyMoos missed doing some colouring in first thing in the morning.

08 December 2012

Costume party - HELP!

Oh dear.

I have looked at the calendar and realised that my work Christmas party with a superhero costume theme is ONE WEEK AWAY. I have had a casual look at websites from which to purchase costumes but did not venture so far as to click on "add to cart".

I'm hardly a regular costumer. I can recall only two costume parties in adulthood. The first one was awesome. I went as Catwoman and Hubby as Zorro. He hired his costume and I just put mine together from bits and pieces.



The second party was a Movember party at Luna Park back when Hubby and I were childless Sydneysiders. It was a 70s theme and was easy to get away with wearing flares borrowed from Nonna (yes, original 70s) and Hubby's seedy mo only needed a tight t-shirt to set it off.

So, here we are. I want to dress in costume. I like the idea of costume parties. In my limited experience, it's a real ice-breaker and conversation starter well before the effects of alcohol have kicked in. I'll probably scrape something together through the week, but any suggestions from you lovely readers would be enormously appreciated!

Advent calendar: day 8


I thought the MissyMoos would like this. The only problem (which I didn't anticipate, but should have) is MissyMoo1 (6) complaining that she doesn't like any of our Christmas movies. Sure, we don't have a wide selection, but the Advent calendar will find a way.

07 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 7


My girls love singing. This one's going to be fun!

06 December 2012

Reindeer food

The Missy Moos had to make reindeer food for their day 6 Advent activity. Why? Well, as I've mentioned, B and I are now coordinating our playgroup. This week is our final session which means it will be our Christmas party. And you can't have a playgroup Christmas party without giving out reindeer food for Christmas Eve. You can't. Because reindeer food is awesome.

What is reindeer food?
It's rolled oats mixed with glitter.

Why make reindeer food?
The idea is that  you put the reindeer food out on the front lawn or driveway of your home on Christmas Eve. The glitter shimmers in the moonlight, which helps the reindeer find your home. Then they can eat the oats while Santa is inside unloading presents. This will be the third Christmas that MissyMoo1 (6) and MissyMoo2 (3) have done this and they love it. MissyMoo3 (14 months) might be able to get in on the action this year too!

How do you make it?
I thought you'd never ask.

Here goes:


You need oats, resealable bags and glitter. 


You also need Christmas cards. I cut around the front part of Christmas cards with zigzag scissors. (I got a blister on my thumb from using the child-size scissors, but it was worth it - even when my bowling ball rubbed on it at Hubby's work ten pin bowling Christmas party. I have a craft injury!)

A little poem is also printed out (about 6 to an A4 sheet) and then cut to size.



Glue the poem to the back of the card. Then staple the card to the top of the resealable bag.



MissyMoo1 and MissyMoo2 each got a take-away container and mixed some oats and glitter together in it. I put the glitter into little jars first to try to minimise the mess. The MissyMoos had a great time pouring and mixing. It wasn't too messy actually, as they were very careful. Anyway, who doesn't need a bit of sparkle on the kitchen floor from time to time?!


The finished product.



All the finished products in a box ready for the kiddies.


*Disclaimer: This is not my idea. This is something I've seen done over the past few years, and have now done myself for the first time.



Advent calendar: day 6


MissyMoo1 (6) and MissyMoo2 (3) had a blast making reindeer food this morning before the school run. 

What is reindeer food? How do you make it? Why did we make it today of all days? Stay tuned, these questions and more will be answered with a dedicated reindeer food blog post!

05 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 5


Wordless Wednesday link up at:

04 December 2012

Advent calendar: day 4


It's a Santa day today!  This printable is from the Kidspot website.



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