Home renovation

Entering the Sydney, Inner West housing market is no small feat. It isn’t so much finding the house you love, rather finding the house you can afford in the place you want to live. After a very long search over a number of years we are in! and have learnt a few things already as we start our renovation on our sturdy, soon to be beautiful (the eternal optimist) new home.

Kid Wrangling


The first service you need to set up after electricity is the internet, Without marvellous Netflix there is a very good chance we would have lost/accidentally maimed/gone berserk at our 3 kids. The incredible thing with our girls is we can throw a mattress anywhere in the world in any condition and they will happily watch a movie for hours. Awesome, a little disturbing? yes, but awesome all the same.

Another fabulous thing about kids is they love to help, (With the bonus being, they can only ever be bothered helping for 10 minutes max) Our girls were great little renovators, they had a ball, were well chuffed with the results and cleaned up reasonably well too.

Finally, I would recommend stock piling alcohol, the amount of times beautiful thoughtful friends and family took our children away from the chaos has been incredible, they all deserve many bottles of child recovery liquor.

Tradies

Through heated discussions, my husband and I have finally come to an agreement. One regular coffee every alternate day for ongoing tradies is acceptable, sugar should always be provided and biscuits help with change of plan requests. never provide large lattes to removal people mid move. NEVER. Consider yourself warned.

Also, please be warned that tradies treat all job sites as job sites. Unless you are showered and dressed before 7.30am, there is every chance the whole team will see you in your knickers as you dash to your makeshift bedroom.

Let it go

Parts of the house You thought so awful you couldn’t bare it at time of purchase become increasingly acceptable the more time you are homeless/out of pocket… Unless it’s yellow textured glass. I’m not sure that one will ever make a come back (Check out the excellent pattern explosion here!)

Windows you wished to change immediately become far too expensive to trump paying for the plumbing, and keeping the house clean with sanding going on is literally impossible, it gets EVERYWHERE. Just get used to walking around looking frighteningly pale. Fair to say we have eaten a lot of takeaways lately.

Back yourself

While letting go helps on many levels, you should always back your intuition. If you aren’t happy with the paint colour you have chosen. Change it. Immediately. The price of a new tin is not worth staring at the wrong colour for eternity, and eternity it will feel like, as a wall repaint will find itself way waaaayyyy down on the list of priorities. Look at it this way, you will very soon know half the staff at Bunnings by name anyway, so you may as well have an ongoing joke about that magenta nightmare whenever you pass the painting isle as you head down to plumbing.

Wonderful phone cameras

Your mobile photo album is no longer predominantly this…

but now this… because a photo is so much more reliable than a small ripped bit of loose wallpaper with a paint brand illegibly scrawled on it.

Smile and wave

Currently we are the neighbours no one likes, our tools are noisey, and all our old armchairs we bought in the days we imagined ourselves as restorers are sitting on the front porch like some kind of sad uni flat because the floors are still hardening and there isn’t anywhere else to put them. I am sure they are wondering how we can still be living out of suitcases when we have been there everyday for the past month. My approach is to look very busy and in control and off to a very important meeting giving no inkling of the nightmare inside, then I hide in my car to watch something awesome and educational on Facebook

Seasons

Old houses don’t tend to be very warm, Old houses without heating are cold and old houses with a dodgy power board that trips the fuse every time you turn a column heater on are really very cold indeed. Currently this home’s inhabitants are much like this home, more functional than fashionable.

Internet Surfing Joy

You at least can now become a master of pinterest and avid follower of renovation blogs. Check out this beauty line up of Australian Renovation blogs. Sure it can get depressing when your house couldn’t replicate any one of the gorgeous houses even if you were money bags, but hopefully it will inspire too!

As for kids bedrooms, check out some of our ideas of beautiful children’s rooms on pinterest here And don’t forget to look at some of our beautiful decor in store.

Christmas Gift Guide Kids 3-5 Years

Here’s a rather delayed but still time to order gift guide for 3 – 5 year olds. We have a few in this age group and it’s fair to say it’s a temperamental age but we have some pretty solid gift ideas that can help you out of a pickle.

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Flatout Frankie.
These guys get kids and have obviously not forgotten the power and wonder of a childs imagination. so easy and fun and I love that it encourages children to create the game rather than be fed it. We also have their latest offerings, the stack up dolls. my 3 year old gave them a crack this morning and adored them…

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Flatout Frankie Little unicorn head $29.50, Little racer $49.50, Stack up dolls $23.00 & Little roar head $29.50.

Kids in this age group are awesome learners, growers and love to puzzle things out.  It’s a great time to get them interested in words and writing and puzzles are always a huge hit,  Educational games by Little Tyro have been created by a lovely Melbourn teacher & Mum.  She has created games that are bright and interactive and give kids a fun way to develop their skills.

little tyro

Help support the correct formation and directional flow of letters with Little Tyro Pre writing patterning cards $19.95. Teach your child numbers with Number bingo $22.95. Teach months, dates, weather, counting, sequencing and number recognition with My learning calendar $20.95 and Use the playful Magnetic ‘Big Top Circus’ $19.95 Activity is a fun and creative learning tool that promotes confidence in Speaking and Listening.

A lovely stocking filler is the Tiger tribe inflatable globe. only $9.95 and sure to appeal to both the curious and the rambunctious.

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Glottogon Puzzles and games are perfect for keeping the kids happy while on holiday!

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Glottogon Ballerina people puzzle $24.95, Pets Domino $27.50, Robot people puzzle $24.95, Vrrooom Memory match $24.95, Knights & Dragons alphabet cards $29.95.

Another great brand that keeps the kids busy is Tiger Tribe, with colouring packs and games, all beautifully designed with gorgeous colours and excellent quality.

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Sevi is a brand established in Italy, they have been creating wonderful hand made wooden toys since 1831.  These gifts will last a life time and there is something special in giving a wooden toy, they seem to get better with age.  Great interactive toys like the construction airplane are sure to be a hit, The puzzle clock makes learning fun and the flute…  well, that might be for nephews and nieces. and despite the noise, they are always loved by little ones.

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Sevi Construction kit airplane $59.95, Puzzle clock $74.95 , Wooden flute $24.95.

And for those little ones obsessed with fire engines, it’s hard to go past the Snurk duvet covers.  Beautiful cotton with fabulous crisp images of a Fireman $159.95, Astronaut $159.95 and a Trampoline now only $75 for those willing to take on the challenge.

And for the more romantic… Haveli not only create stunning summer cotton hand printed clothing, they have a gorgeous line of linen. Starting at $48.00

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We still have time to get your orders to you before Christmas so order quick.  We also offer express post to get it with you in a few days time!  Happy Shopping!

 

And the little one said is a boutique online website that offers beautiful, stylish and quality made children’s clothing, accessories, toys & home decor.  Mainly smaller Australian and New Zealand designers and stockists – all carefully handpicked by us.  Because everyone needs a little style.

Christmas Gift Guide for Babies and Toddlers!

We all know how painful finding the perfect gift at a reasonable price can be so we thought we would put together some gift ideas by age to give you a helping hand.

Here we focus on Babies and Toddlers, and we’ll follow with 3 – 5 year olds, 5 – 7 year olds, New Mums and our very own, subtle hint to husbands, Christmas wish list 🙂

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Babies

Apart from being squidgy and gorgeous and smelling divine (the top end anyway), these little beings are also perfectly worthy of beautiful gifts.  I can’t help but give clothes because they look so damn cute in them.  Babies are an excuse to find beautiful teenie weenie onesies and to sigh at their smallness.  We have always supplied and adored the brand Wilson and Frenchy.  Their cotton is super soft and their prints and colours are always beautiful.  Here are a few of my favourites

wf blog

 

1. Pretty Mandala tee $24.95  2. Pretty floral nappy pant $22.95  3. Little Whale growsuit $29.95  4. Floating feather tee $24.95  5. Charcoal stripe short $24.95.

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If you are after something a little less sweet but just as cute, try our ‘hello’ onuses.  I like the navy alphabet onesie (educational too ; )

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If bubs has been inundated with clothes, then the Tiger Tribe Alphabet flash cards $19.95 might be the better option.  beautiful and bright and perfect for keeping little ones entertained in the pram.

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The Dan300 softies are great for ‘the baby with everything’ and is a super cute addition to what is probably a stunning nursery already.  They aren’t too small either so good for a cuddle or just to look pretty as a mini pillow $29.95

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My last baby gift transitions beautifully into the little ones on the move because this gift will see you right from new bubs to toddler.  The gorgeous KidO Tug boat is a lovely gift that will always be appreciated.  Bath toys that won’t go manky or break are a mothers joy.  Kid O is PVC & BPA free and made with safety in mind. Tug Boat $24.95

 

Toddlers

pink house

When they are on the move they need to be kept busy, otherwise terrible terrible things can happen.  Like finding a jar of sudocream, or removing all the photos from your carefully compiled albums, or drawing on your brand new quilt with textas…

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The Beginners Puzzle by Air by Petit Collage is a great way to start the kids on some seriously good skills like sitting… quietly… concentrating.  The bright colours and gorgeous illustrations are sure to be a winner $19.95.

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Sevi’s hand made wooden toys are also a lovely gift for little ones.  The Pull along croc $29.95 will be a constant companion, and the stackable cat also makes learning fun $24.95.  The Sevi Pull along Cowboy is a beautiful gift that will last a lifetime $59.95

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Safe in the knowledge that these awesome little diggers are made using sustainable plantation timbers, this Busy Builder excavator is only $16.95 “Push push and off they go!”

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And for the Dolly lovers out there, the adorable hand crafted rag doll by Tiger Tribe $39.95. ‘Hannah’  is a lovely soft and beautiful gift.  Soon to be a new best friend!

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And for an extra special gift for the tots, we have a small triple baby pink bracelet by the gorgeous Lindi Kingi from New Zealand $49.95.

Judging by the weather so far, we are likely to be seeing some rather hot days.  We are big fans of Haveli, the gorgeous clothing and decor range made by hand in the traditional block print method using cottons that are beautifully light and soft.  I adore how easy to wear it is and how lovely it is to see a floaty summer range with sleeves!  (So those delicate shoulders are covered in such searing temperatures – love it).

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1. Aqua pink medallion Kurta top $32.00  2. Assam Smock dress $38.00   3. Top & short set $48.00   4. Sun hat $18.00   5. Jaipur button kurta $35.00   6. Blue paisley kurta top $32.00

 

Loads of ideas for you this Christmas so you have no excuses for running to the shops at 8.30pm on Christmas Eve.

Happy Christmas Shopping!

 

 And the little one said is a boutique online website that offers beautiful, stylish and quality made children’s clothing, accessories, toys & home decor.  Mainly smaller Australian and New Zealand designers and stockists – all carefully handpicked by us.  Because everyone needs a little style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where is my mind?

To be fair I wrote this when it had not stopped raining FOR EVER, and I am slowly regaining some brain function woohoo! but I thought you might like to see how brilliantly I was coping at the end of winter.

With colds and weather and sudden crazy annoying insomnia turning me into a zombie, I thought I should write a post regarding a rather embarrassing … problem of mine which is now worse than ever.

I am, to put it mildly, rubbish at finishing a sentence.

Now I will let you stew this over with an example.  I met a new Mum at the play ground and We were discussing the difference between my daughters, “One is pretty shy” I said, “the other is as chatty as a ……..”   That’s right, I stopped.  I made a point to stare hard at something of no importance behind the lady I was talking to, I checked my bag for a loose tic tac and I said nothing more, eyes averted.

I suspect it is because after having 3 kids, I have been interrupted for 99% of my conversations for the past 6 years.  I am so used to being cut off before I finish speaking that the part of my brain that stores witty turns of phrase has been replaced with some other garbage, like kids iceblock stick craft ideas from pinterest.

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Just as likely is the small machine purring away in the back of my mind, largely fuelled by guilt asking 50 questions a minute and often overrulling any other rational thought.  “Did I leave the iron on, of course not I haven’t ironed in weeks, I should really iron more, my poor husband, I wonder if she irons? Where did she get those shoes? does she have that style in other colours? why can’t I find the perfect flats? I haven’t washed my hair, I must look like a junkie, I hope I’m not scaring her off with my junkie attire, where the hell are the kids? should I be concerned? I really shouldn’t have yelled at my oldest for pouring out the cereal, am I too hard? do I need to do more homework with them? Did I feed them lunch? I forgot to pay that bill for that thing, I have got to stop buying coffees…”

On the plus side, My husband and I have started collecting some ridiculous made up words I have come up with, Also, having a quick search on the internet it looks like I’m not alone.

Now without googling too much (NEVER google too much) there are some helpful wee hints that I might have to try to defuzz the brain and retain a little dignity in social situations. This particular list is from a site encouragingly called “Am I losing my mind?” but I will sum it up in an achievable way for a Mum like me who has no time for excessive deprivation or commitment.

Omega 3 – Eat loads of lovely smoked salmon mmm

Sleep – Wear ear plugs.

Drink water – I’m lame enough to need one of those bottles with hourly drinking levels. I particularly like this blog detailing in several photos the clever crafty 12 step process to using a permanent marker on a bottle. see here

Drink Coffee – ok

Tumeric – I am like a child with tumeric, I will eat tumeric so long as someone else hides it in my meal without my knowledge

Laugh often – really, my kids are hilarious.

Manage your vices – My alcohol is beautifully managed thank you

Stay active – Aahh, well. My daughter likes to challenge me to a dance off whenever we argue.  I might have to start taking her up on that. I do have some pretty smooth moves.

collage els dancing

And the little one said is a boutique online children’s clothing, accessories, toys and home decor site run by two sisters with lots of kids between them and a love of all things beautiful.

 

 

A geriatric mother

I had my third bub at the tender age of 43 and now a month off 45 (when did that creep up on me??) I find myself with an extremely active and rambunctious 15 month old little boy running around.  There is a fair bit of “Oh God I’m too old for this!” going on at the moment.

I know I am not the only one.  Of my Mums group with my first child (I was 36 so well above the national average of 29) I fitted somewhere in the middle age wise, and I wasn’t the only one to have a late third.  Some of the Mums I know at school are also well and truly in my age bracket, which is extremely comforting, although I fear by the time my third reaches school I am going to be found out a bit.  Those damn wrinkles.

Loved the medical practice’s attitude towards us oldies.  It’s bad enough that they put the frighteners on with horrible stats around miscarriage, high risk of twins (didn’t know that one!) and numerous chromosomal abnormalities, but to add insult to injury, I was called either a ‘geriatric mother’ or of ‘advanced maternal age’ on all the various forms.  Lovely.  Lots of extra tests are encouraged as you can imagine and it’s all quite a trial.  Makes you feel somewhat in the bad books for having the cheek to have a baby at such an ‘advanced’ age!  Sigh.  It’s not like we need reminding but thanks anyway.

So with my great age, must come wisdom (surely!?) so I thought i’d put together a short list outlining my experiences of being a, God forbid, ‘geriatric mother’.  Let me tell you third time around helps too ; )

Good news:

  • I soooo don’t care about keeping up with the Joneses.
  • I don’t have to worry about wearing any kind of short skirt or skimpy outfit – think mutton dressed as a lamb.  Comfortable (and dare I say somewhat daggy) is just fine by me.
  • Been there, done that.  Kinda of know what to expect third time around.
  • Poop, vomit, mess, general yuckiness does not throw me in the least.
  • There’s no panic if junior doesn’t eat what he’s given.  They’ll eventually eat, promise.
  • Organic?  Sorry, all to hard.  Whatever is in the fridge is just fine.
  • No such thing as a schedule.  He’ll just have to fit in.

Bad news:

  • The knees, hips, shoulders and back hurts where it shouldn’t.
  • Harder to bend down to pick up the numerous toys, containers, pots, pens, remotes etc, etc that get randomly thrown about.
  • COMPLETELY over going to the park.
  • I’m going to look ridiculous at the beach, park, school grounds wherever at 55 trying to play ball with my 10 year old.
  • I fit in at the school ok now, but when Mr 1 year old goes to school at 5 and a bit I am going to look (and lets be fair, I will actually be) ancient.
  • The kids have no appreciation at all for 80’s music and I don’t know any other kind.
  • Despite my general laziness to make any effort to ‘look the part’ I do in fact feel quite bad sometimes that I could do better (that particular term has been written on my report cards from school for as long as I can remember – that’s probably saying something).

Here’s an article in Scary Mommy on being an older Mum.  She’s got it pegged.

And the little one said is a boutique online children’s clothing, accessories, toys and home decor site run by two sisters with lots of kids between them and a love of all things beautiful.

 

Expecting? here’s what should be in your bag.

Being prepared is recommended, let’s just say I learnt on the job…

Baby 1.  Bag packed with candles, programmed ipod, pillows and pretty tops. … all of which were thrown at my husband during labour… Along with a heck of a lot of expletives and whatever else was in reach.

Baby 2.  Bag packed with baby clothes and a pair of my husbands underwear. that was IT (??) actually, mens briefs are surprisingly comfortable post baby.

Baby 3.  Bag packed with something like the following.  phew.

babybag 1

 

1. Baby clothes. Generally you need a few options with a wee beenie to keep your little one snug. soft organic cottons are perfect like Wilson & Frencys suits and Nurtured by Nature. Beautiful greys are great when you aren’t sure what you are having, although if you do, the gorgeous Fox & Finch is soft and stunning.

2. Baby wraps.  The hospital generally provides everything, but it’s nice to have a good wrap from home you can snuggle them in, and learn the wrapping technique with it too, otherwise it never works like the nurse said. Love Henry wraps are flannelette and just divine.  perfectly snug for winter and so soft.

3. Woolen blanket.  This will only be used for your trip home, but make it merino and soft, super light and warm, We love Babu

4. Baby bags like Bella Buttercup’s are a Godsend, even from day one.  Have the wipes, bum cream, hand disinfectant and newborn nappies all packed and ready to go inside this brilliant bag, it will become as essential as your handbag.

5. Bathrobe. Because there is a chance you can look civilised if you wrap this around your tired self when fetching toast or meeting visitors, and slippers I think are mandatory, or should be.  I’m pretty sure bare feet in hospitals is a bad idea.  Also, feet get really cold (throw in some socks)

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6. Some lovely stretchy breathable cotton PJs with a breastfeeding friendly top. It’s nice to look nice.  I found these here.

7. Big cotton knickers, probably in a 5 pack, any colour so long as they are black.  Don’t get attached, throw them as soon as you get home (please do, I think I still have a pair in my drawer, hideous)

8. Toilet bag with….. are you ready? On top of your standard tooth brush, hairbrush shampoo and makeup get up, you should take these!

-Panadol (it’s all you are allowed, sob)

-Ural – If you had a vaginal birth and were torn to buggery you will appreciate this,

-Lansinoh cream – Keep applying, I’m pretty sure it made no difference but it gave me hope.  More importantly, it was hands down the best lip balm I have used,

-Earplugs.  If you have to share a room, they can be very handy.

-Nail file.  Snaggy nails and babies don’t mix

-Hairbands & clips.  A stray hair would drive me insane… oh wait, that was labour, everything drove me insane

-Pads for all the leaky bits.

9. Something for the kids.  We had siblings that were keen as beans and a little freaked out.  They need a little treat and some attention, I like Seedling because it gives you a chance to sit down and create something (with everything provided)  and not just spend all the time talking about the baby that has just invaded their lives. They need to feel special too.

10. Note book and pen.  you will be constantly asked to sign stuff, and you will need to make notes, an old supermarket and a crayon just wont cut it this time.

11. A smart phone for all the important stuff… Alert the world the most precious little baby has been born, call your Mum, google “is it normal to want to kill my hisband during birth”,  last minute name ideas, watch dirty dancing on youtube when you are feeding for hours from 3am and to take that precious photo that will become the perfect screensaver.

12. a Camera, a good one. Because Goddamnit they grow up quick, you want to remember it all.

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Supermarket Love

There’s a new Supermarket opening up in Double Bay, it is bigger, better, shinier horraayyyy.

Supermarket shopping is a necessity, and generally I don’t mind it, It still counts as shopping and no one is stopping me from throwing in a giant block of chocolate…. or Stilton. But I always have kids with me and when I do it, I want to do it once. tick. DONE.

This blog however is about what Supermarkets lack.  I have lived in a few places over the years and have come up with this:

10 Tips to a better Supermarket

1. Coffee. Most of the NZ Supermarkets have a barista willing to make you a flat white as soon as you get through the doors and as we all know, everyone functions better with a coffee – ideally run by some clever independent coffee shop – with exceptional coffee.

2. Coffee Cup holder. Yep Essential, coffee drinking is almost impossible otherwise and I don’t know why they aren’t everywhere. grr

cup holder trolly

3. Free kids rolls.  A long time ago, the supermarket used to have a big bin of fresh baked white rolls.  you were allowed to take one per kid – free – to keep them and you sane for the first half of your shopping trip.  A little good-will went a long way I can tell you.

4. Better range.  I have found that the big Australian supermarkets aren’t as supportive as you would think! Sure, they supply Australian made, but only the companies big enough to buy a spot.  Where is the small local jam company?, where is the small fresh pasta company? where are the beautiful cuts of organic meat? and where the hell is all the coffee?  The selection is rubbish! I want beans that were roasted locally in the last week, not something mass produced from Italy that’s probably been there for months. Fire the procurement team and make each store responsible for supporting the community. Jeez.

Great to see the new store in Double Bay has a big Kosher section, nice to see someone is thinking of their customers.

5. Cheese Room.  enough said

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6. Fresh Squeezed Juice.  At Moore Wilsons from my home town, you walk in and the smells are insane.  all that fresh produce and deli meats and coffee and … fresh squeezed orange juice.  A lovely man spends all day at the juice squeezy section filling various sized bottles and you can pick up yours on the way past… squeezed a second ago!  mmmmm

Heck, you can pop it into your cup holder .

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7. Authentic Patisserie/ boulangerie.  (This is my list after all)

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8. alcohol.  I know there is always a liquor store close by with the supermarkets here, but there is something rather wonderful about not having to pay twice, or drag your children through a bottle store without feeling like I will be reported. I want to be able to partner a wine with the meal I just chose. I want to shop once, and once a week, and do it well.

9. Bulk Bins.  nuts and almond meal and dried fruit galore.  I want it extensive, I want it well stocked and I want it for what it is… bulk purchase prices.

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10. More checkout people.  there are usually 8 isles and only two people on them.  WHY! don’t you know how many kinder surprises will be opened if my child needs to be here any longer! Honestly, Next time they take one, I’m going to say it was out of my control and refuse to pay.  I’m not taking their impulse purchase palava sitting down.

What would improve your weekly shop?

Stinking sodding hospital

The last couple of weeks have been horrid. Horrid!   And so we have a very late blog and not an awful lot more than horrendousness to discuss I’m afraid.   I know we are not alone in our rubbish week, apparantly we are one of thousands this winter, but we live in our own little bubbles don’t we…

I thought a few months back when my 3 girls had a stomach virus and threw up at the same time all night was possibly as bad as it got… erm..

The climax for the bad week was rushing to hospital ED with a bad case of asthma for my oldest. We have been here before many times but this time we all had the flu and felt like busses were hitting us left right and centre – making it an extra horrid night on those charming pull outs, interrupted hourly for ventolin, and a quick trip back to ED to pick up my youngest who has apparantly developed asthma too.  Two kids in hospital at the same time makes for a rather sniffly mum.

HOWEVER! As we are seasoned pros, there is at least a little knowledge I can impart to you all, wanted or not.  It gives me a chance to do a collage of images which lets be honest, is a joy in itself.

Items for child in 24hr stay:

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  • Chocolate/lollies (I had a giant pink easter egg – used solely for bribery when encountering needles/yucky drugs/scary nasaly mouth things).
  • Books.  We had a ‘Where’s Wally?’ given to us and it was hopeless when we first arrived, an exhausted kid drugged to their eyeballs isn’t about to be able to find Wally.  I couldn’t find the bugger and I looked darn hard!  Drop it down a gear or two on reading ability, story books with lovely pictures and old favourites are winners.
  • An iPad.  Now is not the time to worry about restricting screen times, ipad charger…. ipad backup … smartphone … smartphone charger … you get the idea. I also let my daughter video the nurse taking blood so she was concentrating on the video part rather than the blood sucking part.
  • Change of clothes and some favourite sleepwear.  Things get scary and sweaty and throwy uppy in hospital. Best be prepared.
  • Textas and a notebook.
  • Hair ties, obviously for the girls.  Or maybe not.. Whatever sex, if it’s long hair they have, it’s nice to be out of your face.  If you are caught short, rip the top of a pair of rubber gloves off (found in boxes all over the place), works brilliantly.
  • Snacks.. meusli bars, crackers, raisins whatever. Hospital food is average except the white toast and vegemite.
  • Favourite toy/blanket.
  • Drink bottle.

Items for Mum in 24hr stay:

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  • I take my pillow, but only because I have some wierd issue with sleeping on the plasticy covered ones.  Elsie ended up using it instead, it’s nice to have a comfy backup.
  • Medicare/insurance cards.
  • Socks
  • Cash… quite a bit.  Parking is horrendous, snack stops are inevitable, coffee is essential and colouring books and treats are likely.
  • Baby wipes for speedy showers.
  • I take a book and never read it, but it’s nice to dream.
  • Good headache pills and Berrocca.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Drink bottle.

Techniques for most comfortable stay:

  • Make sure the doctors, nurses and orderleys all know who you are.
  • Ask LOT’s of questions and make sure you get an idea of when things are happening.  You need to be the squeeky wheel!
  • Get dropped off if you can.  Not having to worry about parking fines or the fees clocking up is lovely.
  • Make the most of the educators/clowns/entertainers.  They are brilliant.  Takes the mind off your stay and usually give you a chance to duck away for a coffee.
  • Make yourself useful. The nurses are amazing and probably don’t need to get you another blanket, get some more water, get another pillow.  Use your common sense and help out.
  • Get some sleep when you get home.  Not always easy with others waiting for you but it’s bloody stressful being in hospital, you don’t eat well, you are often unwell too and you have woken as often as your child for medication and rounds.  You aren’t much good to anyone when you are knackered.
  • Big ups to RPA and their awesome staff.  I really should drop round some muffins.

tired_mom

 

 

Love them as I do…

There seems to be a troubling theme going on with my posts – a yearning for child-free getaways!

Little darlings that they are, they can certainly be a handful. I think what I need is to find a hobby. That might solve the problem. Something that’s just for me.

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The problem of course is going to be fitting it in between everything else that is going on in my life. Already work is squeezed in whenever I have a free hour in between 3 x kids, meals, house stuff and everything else that seems to be in my job description. Sadly exercise is way down the list (and I am acutely aware it shouldn’t be!). I bought a 10 class gym pass 5 weeks ago and have managed to go twice in that time. Sigh. Trying to find some “me time” is a going to be a big ask.

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If by some small miracle, I could find this precious time, then the question is what “hobby” would I choose. I’d have to have a good think about that, because I’m not actually sure what that would be. I’m thinking something creative, something to do with art or something that would be fun to do – craft, sewing of some sort? Although who am I kidding, my sewing is abysmal, and not sure I want it to be any better because then I would feel obliged to actually use that skill every now and again. I’m not the scrapbooking, card making type either. Maybe a bookclub? I’d also love to go to art shows every now and again, although would find it hard to come home without purchasing whatever masterpiece I fell in love with.

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My other problem is my husband is away from anywhere between 1-3 nights a week for work, so I can never rely on him to be home to look after the kiddies on any one night.  Hmmm, all sounds in the too hard basket, but also a very appealing idea! Then again, I really probably need to get in some exercise as a priority first. Still have 3 babies worth of chubby left over –and lets be honest, I was never a slim jim to start with to there is some serious work to be done.

Small steps is what I need. Right at this moment, think I will take advantage of my parents in-law visiting and nip to the supermarket on my own – bliss! (and yet so sad).

 

NB.  With thanks to ‘Everything I need to know I learned from a little Golden Book (Diane Muldrow).  So true.

 

www.andthelittleonesaid.com.au is an online store that offers beautifully made, quality children’s clothing, accessories, toys and home decor.  Because everyone needs a little style.

The day was looking good.

So This post should have been filled with lovely photos of our trip but we did get rather distracted so apologies in advance.

Heading off for our weekend at Millthorpe markets, it was nice and early (having retrieved coffee). We should have probably checked our sources earlier as the apparent 5 hour journey to Orange is actually only 3. This brightened us right up.  I had started to recover from the horrible virus the girls had had over the week and having popped a few cold pills, berocca and coffee… the day was looking good.

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I should probably point out.  My sister and I, although similar in many ways, are pretty different,  Toni, being the older organised one brought a bag of goodies for the trip, including disinfectant wipes, grapes, apples, slice, muesli bars, Easter eggs, handy towels, berocca… etc.  I brought a packet of chewy fresh mints.  Together we make one heck of a combination.  Sometimes it’s startling how classicly we fall into the birth order steryotypes.  I couldn’t wait for a roadie.

We were very excited to arrive in Orange, In Toni’s last post she had highlighted a few places to go and we headed directly to The White Place.  We had a wee sigh as we walked in, every room has a new array of beautiful things.  Purchases were made, a lot less than we would have liked, and I walked away with a shiny new bracelet that my husband thinks looks like an old curtain toggle.  To be fair it does.

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We went to a lovely wine bar then had a wee rest at the hotel.  When we realised the only thing decent to watch on telly was Scooby Doo, we headed out for dinner.  I think this is when things could have gone seriously wrong had a family, or indeed just a husband have been brought along.

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We got into the car having both expected the other to have brought the food guide.  I ran back to the hotel room, retrieved it and started again, we drove around various streets, mainly because Toni loved the pretty houses, we went down streets because of the pretty trees, we followed a dog a little so it didn’t go onto the road, we did several 360’s on roundabouts, we drove past the restaurant we had already called but was fully booked just to have a looksie and when we eventually found our restaurant (or two in close proximity) we looked for a park, only to see that our hotel was a few meters away so we parked back in our hotel and walked to dinner.  I’m pretty sure both husbands would have opted to walk home to Sydney rather than have endured that.

 

The Millthorpe Markets is quite the event, twice a year, the little town of 650 explodes into several thousand, the que for the stall holders started lining up at 4 am and the market opened at 8.30.

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Obviously we were novices, I thought we were rather speedy with our tent erecting but by the time we had sorted our cords the neighbours had pretty much set up shop.  Our stall required a fair amount of improvisation and neither Toni nor myself are born sales people (which is largely why the online site had so much appeal) so we needed to work on our banter.  In the end we talked about our dodgy stand and how awesome everyone else’s stalls were… possibly we still need to work on that.

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We meet some lovely people though, it’s great to discuss the products, find out what people are looking for and it was always so encouraging to get lots of positive feedback. The Petit De Nimes Red Riding Cape was quite the hit, it’s hard to pass such an adorable wee jacket.  We also had the Petit De Nimes Boys Jacket which is such a smart look and perfect for kids as it isn’t too heavy with the warmth of wool.  Loving the check lining!

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Little Tyro was also very big at the markets.  I don’t think we showcase Little Tyros talents enough.  This very clever Teacher from Melbourne with kids of her own has set up a range that is Perfect for early learners.  We had many discussions with Mums that found their kids were entering into school without being taught basic pen techniques and headed straight for the patterning book. It is perfect for familiarising preschool children with grip, direction and control.  There are bright shape cards for feeding string through for hand eye coordination and shape play, and creative games to encourage imaginative play, comprehension and problem solving. These were even being bought as Easter gifts. they are so bright and fun, it’s nice to have something new for children to play with that helps them grow too.  We appear to have nearly sold out but we will be placing another order so let us know if you need anything soon.

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Wilson and Frenchy has always been a favourite of ours and it seems we aren’t alone, how can you pass such cute wee designs.  I love these navy striped pants too.

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We also had the chance to show off the beautiful Fox and Finch Navy party dress.  I possibly love this dress more than is normal, but it is a fruitless fancy as my youngest is nearly 3 and the sizes stop at 2.  (insert very glum face indeed)  We did squeeze her in for a photo, but she was so busy spinning we didn’t exactly nail it with the photo shoot.

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Other highlights…The weather held out wonderfully, I must have put my cardigan on and taken it off 50 times, but rain … it did not. Some beautiful stalls were at the markets, Toni got some ‘Borne in Bathurst’ relish and I bought some shoes, I spotted a company I have been following for sometime on Facebook – Olive and Clover (who I borrowed the image from) .  Some beautiful lost and found trinkets and a lovely old ladder I wasn’t allowed to strap to the roof of the car.  The pizza was devine and there were some wonderful capable kids collecting litter, organising stall holder lunch orders, selling tickets and drinks and generally being outstanding little citizens which must contribute to such a stellar market for Millthorpe Primary School.  The Marshalls also deserve a mention as it was a rather epic task arranging that many stalls and their cars from 5am with a great big smile and a fair amount of banter.  Superb.

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My sister and I sang equally poorly all the way home stopping only to coo over the new lambs ( and puzzle over the time of the year) Then home in time to see a few little rascals fighting sleep and a rather clever husband that had managed to tidy the house and have all 3 children happy and intact.

 

We will definitely be back in December and we will take what we have learnt to help bring you more beautiful creative products at andthelittleonesaid.com.au