Thursday, September 30, 2010

on reflection of the parenting alphabet

Now I've reached the letter Z, I've been reflecting on this month's theme.

Not only the way I sound like I work on Sesame Street, but also on the Parenting Tips that aren't on the A-Z list. Like:

C is for Cooking and H is for Housework.

If we're honest, this is what most parents spend their average day doing. Perhaps that's why they're not on the list. Because it has to be done. We just do it anyway. We don't need reminding. So perhaps they just filled the alphabet with random stuff? Or maybe the purpose of the list is to remind us of the many things we're not doing? Because the Mother Guilt isn't there already.

Not. At. All.

My original purpose of blogging about the A-Z of Parenting Tips was so I would remember it. Like an assignment. You know, if you read about it and write about it, it's like studying for an exam, and perhaps I'll remember the parenting alphabet when I spend time with my children.

And while I'm dreaming about all that child affirming, those cuddles and kindness, wouldn't it be nice if there was just more time to do the good stuff? This is where having the extra money for a cleaner would be divine. Then we could just play and spend our best hours loving, enjoying and teaching our children.

After all, isn't that what we really want?

Thanks for joining me on my parenting alphabet journey... Look out for next month's theme: Toddler Fashion.

z is for zealots

Zealots: Avoid parenting zealots at all costs, particularly those who sound crazy. They probably are.

These lovely people aren't zealots. They are three of our four children. Whom I adore.

Of course, this lovely offspring does not make me a zealot either.


I would never be like a protective bear should anyone try to attack my children verbally or physically. I would never jump in to hide or protect them from anything that might harm or scare them. I would never become a drama queen should anything upset them. I would never fuss if one of them was sick. I would never be out of control if they weren't treated fairly.

I'd do anything for my children.

Whatever it took for them to be safe, healthy and happy. And if that makes me a zealot, then I'm guilty as charged.

And, although I'm probably exaggerating the cause of the letter Z (kinda, sorta, not really), perhaps I should save the judgement of zealots for somebody else.

Are you a zealot? Do you avoid parenting zealots? Have you become a sort of zealot since you became a parent?

The A-Z of Parenting Tips were inspired by this article in the Courier Mail.

y is for you

You: Try not to always see yourself in terms of being a parent and look after yourself too.

On Tuesday night, we had a family meeting.

It was to discuss what we were going to do the following night. You see, Leah (our newly turned 21 year old) has just returned from her gig at The Snow. She'd come home and was hoping for a plan. She likes a plan.

Madison was eyeing off the Silvers Circus brochure on the fridge.

"Can we please go to the circus?" he asked in his best mannered voice.

"How about we go out for dinner, and then the circus?" said Leah.

"Well, Grandma has asked us over for dinner," responded my Darling Hubby.

I sat and listened. And the conversation went round, off track for a bit, and then back to the original topic. I could see a decision wasn't going to be made quickly. As Leah headed out, the final words on the conversation were, "Let me know what you decide..."

Later that night Hubby asked me, "Babe, what do you want to do?"

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

x is for kisses

X: For kisses. Lots.

Each day is interspersed with cuddles and kisses.

Madison will hop on my lap and tell me he loves me. Then he'll ask for a kiss and then promptly wipe it off. It's his new thing. I think he's trying to be cool. And is hoping for a reaction.

Noah is a very, very busy boy. But throughout the day he'll hop up on my lap for his kiss dose, pretend he doesn't like it, but bring his cheek closer to my face for a little bit more (complete with cute smirk). And then he promptly hops back down to get back on with his discovering.

And every night after stories are read, prayers said, and nappies on, there's my favourite time.

Kiss time.

My eldest son says with his cute little lisp, "Mummy, give me lots and lots of lots of kisses!"

And I do. He is smothered. He giggles. I tickle. He kisses back. We do Butterfly Kisses (eyelashes on cheeks) and Maori ones (nose to nose) too. Noah joins in for a piece of the action as well.

There is nothing I hate about this time. Listening to those adorable infectious giggles and kissing those chubby, velvet cheeks. It's my favourite time of the day where nothing else matters except the overwhelming love I have for my beautiful boys.

The A-Z of Parenting Tips were inspired by this article in the Courier Mail.

w is for walking, w is for wise

Walking: Go for one and leave the car at home. It's also for parents being wise, knowing when to say nothing and just doing what seems right.

Walking is something I love. When we're out in the sunshine, we marvel at the beautiful day, the clouds and the activity around us. It's wonderful. Housework and troubles seem far away.

Of course walks are a coordinated effort these days. We work around morning and afternoon sleeps and around meal times too. But let's not forget the joy of getting everything ready. Getting the pram out of the car, packing hats, sunscreen, water bottles, a jacket and possibly a scarf for the possible change in weather (we do live in Melbourne), and transferring all the necessary items out of my bag and into the pram.

I like to travel light.

But once that's all happened, we enjoy it immensely. The boys get all their 'wrigglies' out. Whether it's discovering a new playground, heading to the pool or library, or just picking flowers, it's something we all love.

As for wisdom, I hope and pray for it every day. I read as many parenting books as I can get my hands on, I ask family and friends for advice on certain topics and search the web for every parenting hint in the universe. How I long to be wise like Solomon and teach my kids in the best way possible. For now, the little lads have to put up with their mother who is still pretty much on her "L" plates.

Do you get out much and walk? And do you aspire for wisdom (like me)?

The A-Z of Parenting Tips were inspired by this article in the Courier Mail.

Monday, September 27, 2010

just when you thought...

Just when you thought life was getting a little mundane, something happens that snaps you out of the daily fog.

The day started in the most usual way, but then became much more interesting by early afternoon. We would have been at the park having a picnic, but it rained. (Thanks Melbourne.) But instead we stayed home and baked and played. We were in the middle of an intense game of charades when the phone rang. I took the call.

"Hi Kym. This is... Do you remember me? You may think this is left field, but I was wondering if you'd be interested in working...?"

Today I was headhunted. Can you believe it?

A directorship. An important job.


Last night I finished reading this book. And to say I love it is an understatement.

I learnt so much from it. The book puts life back into perspective.

My mother-in-law is in a book club. She read it and she liked it so much she gave me a copy. Unfortunately, I was still chin high in night feeds and sleeplessness when she gave it to me. But recently, I've picked it up and started it again. It's not a big book, the writing is a good size and the story was so interesting, once I started it took just three short sittings before I finished it.

It's non-fiction. A real story about real people even using their real names. A university lecturer who's dying and his student. Their Tuesdays together (because they're Tuesday People) and a relationship that grows. There is a load of life wisdom worth taking on board.

What did I get out of it? Heaps. And instead of me telling you about it, how about you read just a few of the little gems from the book below? Or perhaps you should borrow or buy the book yourself? I think it ought to be one of the more read books in your book collection...

v is for validation

Validation of feelings: Emotionally literate parents raise well-rounded children.

Madison is of the age where he is starting to verbalise his feelings. So, if he feels a certain way then we name it. We tell him it's okay to feel that way, and we talk about how it affects him. I try so hard not to suffocate it, and let him know it's normal to feel a diversity of emotions.

Part of his learning process is being aware of my own feelings. Kids learn, watch and take mental notes. So, I try really hard to explain why I might be happy, angry, sad, tired, excited, etc.

Luckily, Madison has about three dominant feelings - happy, cheerful and delighted. Every now and then he Cracks The Sads, but on the whole he is an absolutely sweet-natured boy.

So far.

There are times I forget to validate his feelings, and mostly I take note and rectify it as soon as possible. It's something I hope will come more naturally with time, as it's so important.

How do you validate your children's feelings? What works for you?

The A-Z of Parenting Tips were inspired by this article in the Courier Mail.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

u is for use your brain power

Use your higher brain during those moments when you are filled with anger. Avoid slipping back into your own childhood and try to apply a little logic and self-control.

This morning I was playing with the kids when my reading glasses broke. I'd be okay with it except my spare pair were 'posted' somewhere at my mum's place in Adelaide and they're yet to make their way home to Melbourne. So, I'm squinting while typing this post.

Can I just say that play time ended quite abruptly and it didn't seem so much fun anymore. And now I'm a teeny bit mad, and now have no glasses.

So, using that higher brain power... is it just me, or this easier to say than to do?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

this saturday i'm grateful for... trips home to visit family

Saturdays are the days where our household comes to a grinding halt. (Except sleeping and eating, perhaps). And because it's the last day of the week, I often reflect on the six past days and remember all the things I'm grateful for...
  1. Short plane trips - jumping on a plane and seeing my family in just over an hour.
  2. My best friend - who loves me for who I am and is willing to 'share'.
  3. Grandparents - who are keen to babysit as much as they can while Mummy has a 'little break'.
  4. Discovering - new playgrounds.
  5. Ducks in a row - the ability to be in bed by 9:30pm three nights straight (okay, so I didn't go out as much as I could have).
  6. Seeing 50 (or so) of my closest relatives (and their offspring) in one day.
  7. My cherubs... I'm always grateful for those little lads.
This Saturday I'm Grateful For... is inspired by Maxabella Loves... 

t is for teeth

Teeth: Teach your children good oral hygiene and practise it yourself. They'll only get two sets of teeth which need to last their lifetime.

Yes, I know. Brush morning and night, morning and night. Get them into good habits. Encourage them to do it themselves.

I have a mouth phobia. It's true. I'm self conscious about bad breath, bits in teeth and decay. My parents spent a small fortune on my teeth, and as a result I've been very careful. I'm even the proud of owner of just one teeny tiny filling - and a dentist told me he'd hardly count it as it's so small. I'm smug.

So, you'd think my boys might pick up on this and be vigilant about brushing their teeth.

Or perhaps they've picked up on my compulsive disorder and are rebelling.

Friday, September 24, 2010

s is for sleep

Sleep: Good sleep habits in childhood directly influence those in later life. Place some reasonable boundaries around bed times and stick with them.

Sleep and I were best friends.

It's sad because we used to get along so well. There were hours and hours we spent together in the silence and comfort of each other. So warm and inviting, so still and peaceful.

You know those friendships where you don't need to say anything. You can just see and know? That's how our friendship was.

But alas, four years ago there was a decline in our relationship. We spent less time together. We were continually interrupted, and then Sleep had to share its time with The Others.

And despite how much I try to put our relationship on a better footing, I fail.

I know it's me that is as fault. Sleep is the ever-faithful friend. But I keep trying.

r is for rituals

Rituals: Build some rituals into your family life. They don't need to be complex.

I love routine.

Oh sorry, does it say rituals? I love rituals too. You know those little things we do every day, every week, every year that make what we do, what we do. You know, uniquely us. Uniquely our family.

Like our Tuesdays. We go to the pool. There is a swimming class during the term. And during the holidays we swim as well (yes, also on Tuesdays). There is lots of laughter and fun, and when it's all over, we dry off while eating our lunch. There's usually a special treat. And when it's warm out we go outside and run around.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

q is for questioning

Questioning: Encourage your children to question why and to understand why things are as they are.

My first response to this is... do I have to encourage questions?

Because I don't think I've encouraged it much and I'm bombarded every day with hundreds - no - thousands of questions. And only one of my children talk so far.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate every question.

Really. I. Do.

But I don't know the answers to half the questions that are asked. Often I'm dumbfounded. I find that my answer (a lot) is "I don't know", or "that's a very good question" (which can buy a heap of thinking time).

p is for pets

Pets: Consider getting a pet. Their contribution to family life can be invaluable. They help to teach responsibility and empathy, two valuable human traits.

Every time we go grocery shopping we visit the pet shop. We 'ooh' and 'aah' at the puppies, the guinea pigs and the fish. Yes, even the fish.

Today there was even a free petting zoo at our local Centro. And Madison held everything.

Can you tell we don't have a pet?

And I'm not sure why because every member of our family - except one - wants a dog (okay, so Noah hasn't actually spelt it out because he can't talk just yet - but he would if he could).

The girls have put in their request for a Golden Retriver or a Labrador, I would like a Rhodesian Ridgeback and Madison would be happy for whatever he can get his hands on.

But we have the husband, the father, the spoil sport. Who gives us reasons why we can't have one.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

o is for optimism

Optimism: Teach the value of optimism and the importance of believing that there are always better days ahead.

I'm not going to brag, but I think optimism comes easy here. I'm always looking on the bright side of life, finding the silving lining, drinking from a half full cup. It definitely has a flow-on effect to the kids.

In fact, sometimes I think a little negativity wouldn't go astray sometimes...

The A-Z of Parenting Tips were inspired by this article in the Courier Mail.

n is for nutrition

Nutrition: Food builds bones and brains, muscle and strength. Be suspicious about foods wrapped in plastic and watch what goes into the shopping trolley and the house.

There's a game that happens in this house around meal time. It goes a little like this:

"Mummy is this Everyday Food or Sometimes Food?"

"This is everyday/sometimes food Madi."

"Is it good for our bodies?"

"Yes/no, bub."


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

m is for manners, m is for money

Manners: A polite child is generally a welcome child. M is also for money; teach financial literacy and the benefits of delaying gratification through saving.

I think my baby-making days are over. But there's nothing that makes me go 'cluck cluck' than hearing a child say "please" and "thank you". (Yes, I know. Pretty easy to please, hey?)

When my child says, "Mummy, please can I have a drink?" I grin from ear to ear. People in hearing distance comment on what lovely manners he has and it makes me Super Proud. And today when packing for a trip he asked, "Mummy can you pack me in your suitcase?" So cute!

Of course it's not always that way. In fact I often feel like an old parrot repeating the importance of nice manners. Over and over again.

And then there are days when there's that whining voice and demands. No nice requests.

And when I ask Madison where his manners went he says, "Mummy, my manners have gone on holidays."


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

l is for listening, l is for letting go

Listening: Not always possible, but it's worth trying to stop what you are doing sometimes and really listen to what your children are saying. It's also for letting go and not trying to control or insulate their environments too much.

You'd think that doing the dishes would be so mundane that talking with your children would distract you from this horrible, horrible task.

But it's sad to admit that sometimes I get lost in the bubbles and dish gloves, nod my head and say, "uh huh" (while thinking that doing dishes is the worst job in the world) while my son is sharing his every thought with me.

And when I say it out loud like that, I know I ought to listen more. Because a day will come when he won't want to share much with me at all. I might have to squeeze the information out like a questionnaire or even more military style questioning.

But if I make an effort to listen - to really, really listen - I'm never disappointed.

Do you find it easy to listen to your children? Do you find yourself zoning out? Or do you cherish every word?

The A-Z of Parenting Tips were inspired by this article in the Courier Mail.

Monday, September 13, 2010

k is for kindness

Kindness: Extend a little to those around you and let your children see you being kind. K is also for knowing when to stop talking about your own children's achievements and giving someone else a chance to talk.

There's no denying I'm a talker. Everyone who knows me knows that I'm not short of a few words. But as I get older I seemed to have slowed down just a tad to hear what other people have to say. And when you stop and listen, there sure is some knowledge and wisdom around.

Not to mention plenty of other people who like to talk.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

j is for judge not

Judge not, children other than your own: Resist the tendency among some parent groups to criticise other people's children. It is often just a veneer for nagging self doubt.

I'd love to judge other people's children. On second thoughts, I would like to be able to just observe what other children do.

But to be frank, I'm too busy stopping my child from empting out the pantry, taking all the paper off the toilet roll, pulling leftover breakfast all over him from the dining room table, turning the inside of my bathroom cupboard into a drum set, pick up all the toys strewn all over the floor, trying to finish a conversation - any conversation, while my child pulls every tissue out of its box...

How about you?

The A-Z of Parenting Tips were inspired by this article in the Courier Mail.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Saturdays are the days where our household comes to a grinding halt. (Except sleeping and eating, perhaps). And because it's the last day of the week, I often reflect on the six past days and remember all the things I'm grateful for...
  1. We can make more wonderful memories here in our home (Melbourne, Australia). This week, my husband's work contract was renewed for five more years. I'm about to live in a house longer than I've lived anywhere else in my whole life.
  2. Which also means that I get to keep my job too. My flexible Work Around The Kids job. My One Day In A Fabulous Office Surrounded By Gorgeous People job. And work closely with Amazing, Supportive and Affirming people right around Australia.
  3. Plus life will become awfully predictable as I slide into my comfort zone.
 How delicious is that? 

This Saturday I'm Grateful For... is inspired by Maxabella Loves...

i is for inclusion

Inclusion: Children need to feel included and part of their peer group. Don't withhold certain toys or outings even if they hurt your sensibilities or moral codes. The cost for children to feel different and excluded can be too high.

Can I just say that my need for inclusion ensures that my children will never not be included. I'm a social animal. And I will do pretty much anything to ensure we get to that social event. Whether it's playgroup, swimming, morning tea with friends, Sabbath School. Even grocery shopping.

If there's naughty behaviour, there's usually a different 'discipline' (read: naughty spot) to not going.

Because the cost for not feeling included affects me too.

And you? 

The A-Z of Parenting Tips were inspired by this article in the Courier Mail.

this saturday i'm grateful for...

After reading 365 days of Grateful in a Notebook: magazine last year, I've been inspired.

And since December last year I've been trying to work out how I could do a Grateful Project without falling flat out of ideas. I guess that's why I started monthly themes here, here, here and here oh, here and here too. A friend has been doing a daily Grateful Project through her Facebook account since January 1. And I just couldn't do it. It's too much. But once a week I can do.

I found this gorgeous blog that does a weekly grateful something. Maxabella Loves... could very well be my new favourite blog. (Actually in the past two weeks I've discovered a whole wide world of fabulous blogs like this one, this one and this one - what rock have I been hiding under?).

And Saturday is my day of reflection, so this works perfectly.

You can do it too. Once a week is doable. Don't you agree?

Friday, September 10, 2010

h is for help

Help: Ask friends and family for a hand and support if you need it. Be specific about how they can help you.

I'm on the verge of tears, I'm surrounded by the hurricane that is my two boys, they've been Super Curious, trying and just plain naughty. I think I'm about to lose it.

So then why don't I call a friend and ask for help? Why don't I just admit that I'm not coping? In hindsight of course, I'm incredibly honest and can tell friends I had a bad day.

Last week.

11 rules your kids will not learn in school

This is an excerpt from the book "50 rules kids won't learn in school" by Charles Sykes. 

I highly recommend it and can't wait to use this wisdom on my boys when they become teenagers.

Rule 1:
Life is not fair - get used to it.

Rule 2:
The world doesn't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3:
You will not make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both. You may have to wear a uniform that doesn't have a designer label.

Rule 4:
If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5:
Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity...

Thursday, September 09, 2010

g is for good enough parenting

Good enough parenting: Don't set your standards so high they are impossible to achieve. Aim to do a reasonable job, most of the time. Relish those moments when you've done exceptionally well and learn from the times you haven't.

The moment Madison was born I remember this blissful moment of elation and overwhelming love for my husband. I was going to be the Best Mother ever. And he was going to love me more than before when he would see what a patient, loving and caring mother I was going to be...

Of course, now he's seen me at my very worst. In my paint covered trackie daks (no, he doesn't like them), growling at the kids, tired from lack of sleep, grumpy from days of parroting the same thing over and over, close to tears and unable to form words from extreme frustration, guilt and anger.

f is for fairness, f is for fun

Fairness: Children are acutely sensitive to favouritism between siblings even if parents are unaware they're doing it. F is also for fun, look for it every day.

Fun, well that's easy. I'm the Queen Of Fun. I try to make fun every day. And if that was all I needed to raise my children it would be, well... fun.

As for fairness, how many times have I heard other parents talk about treating each child as different as their individual needs? So I'm going to ask the question: How can we ever be seen to be fair to each of our children?


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

i gotta peaceful easy feeling

Today my husband was re-elected.

No, he's not a politician (well, maybe, of sorts). He works for a church. He's a director for that church. For the top level of the church in this country.

And every five years there's an election. And today he was chosen to continue the role he's been working in for the last four years. To do it for another five.

And I'm so relieved. So calm. So excited. So very settled after feeling very unsettled.

And most of all I can continue in the life we've known for another few more years. And live in a place longer than any other place I've ever lived in.

And that makes me very, very happy. Praise God.

Just as happy as the photo that my son took tonight while he was standing in the bath. Yes, I have pool hair. Yes, I look like a dag. But I don't care.

I'm that happy.

e is for encouragement

Encouragement: Give simple "you can do it" messages which will support them trying. Praise, when it's genuinely earned, builds self-esteem and a healthy ego.

If I let my child sleep just once in my bed for a couple of hours, this is what I find every night afterwards in my bedroom come my bedtime. I'm told that I encourage this far too much.

In fact, if I join in on any silly antics like tickling, playing or rough behaviour, I am usually the one who is very sorry. It seems my children are encouraged by my play and don't seem to know when to stop. The line is always crossed when the person who is hurt is me.

There is an up-side however... never is my child more satisfied and proud than after hearing the words, "I'm so proud of you". Like today when at his swimming lesson, he swam with straight legs.

His face beams, his eyes light up. And it's like he's being told he's King of the Universe.

Well, actually he is.


Of my universe.

What things do you encourage that you wish you hadn't? And what things have you encouraged and seen your child shine as a result?

The A-Z of Parenting Tips were inspired by this article in the Courier Mail.

Monday, September 06, 2010

d is for delegating

Delegating: Don't do for your children what they can do for themselves. Encourage their independence.

Once upon a time, my four year old wanted to do things himself. In fact he insisted on it. I couldn't dress him, I couldn't put his shoes on, and I couldn't feed him. I admit that I felt a pang of sadness as my little boy no longer needed me for such things.

But as time passed, I got used to the idea. I remembered the wise words of a friend who said it was our job as parents to help our children become independent.

So, I became happy about delegating. I encouraged him to choose what he was going to wear (trackie pants please), helped him make his bed, clean up his toys and pour breakfast cereal into a bowl.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

c is for consistency

Consistency: Children need parents to be consistent. This fosters a sense of security and helps them feel safe. C is also for curiosity. Curious families tend to be interesting and not overly absorbed in their own issues.

Does sending my eldest boy to the naughty spot around 3 times a day consistent? Does discovering my youngest boy with the toilet brush in his hand (yet again) consistent?

Well then, there is a lot of consistency in this house.

Okay, okay, I know that's not what the C Parenting Tip actually means, but after days like Friday, this is my interpretation.

So I was taking some photos of Madison 'helping' vacuum the house (he was vacuuming the vacuum cleaner because "it was dirty", and then vacuuming himself). Then looked around for Noah to take some snaps too. I found him in his favourite place, and seriously think he wants to be a toilet cleaner - not when he grows up - but now. After reminding him for the hundredth time this month not to go into the bathroom (why doesn't anyone shut that door?), I returned to my little helper with the vacuum cleaner just in time to see the machine cut out and the 'fix me' light switch to red. The reason? He'd decided to suck up all the tissues in a brand new tissue box and overloaded the bag, the hose and the machine.

Friday, September 03, 2010


You may remember a while back, I had the opportunity to host a television show on Hope Channel (available on Foxtel or satellite).

Hope Channel's head office in America received notification a while back that some of Hope Channel’s 2008 entries received Telly Awards.

Three Project Hope series won Bronze awards and two of those were from Project Hope Australia. The show I hosted My Story, His Story was one of them.

Can you believe it? This is so exciting!

Pardon? You don't know what a Telly Award is? Would you feel better knowing that was exactly what I said?

b is for books

Books: Foster a love of reading and give a lifelong gift. Books lay seeds in a child's imagination and provide a means of escape. Books also serve to remind there are always alternatives in life.

After Madison's weekly swimming lesson we used to pop around to the library just behind the Aquatic Centre for our fill of extra books. But of late, I've become lazy (or is that busy?)
Luckily, a recent episode of Playschool reminded Madison about the joy of lending books.
"Mummy can we please get some books from the libaray?" he lisped after the television show was over.

Of course I say a big yes. Because I tire of the books at our place. Not that book again. Can't we please read something else?

And my voice. It gets hoarse from the animation. But they love it. Noah can't talk yet, but another book is pushed into my face. I know what he's asking. Please read another, and another...

So, books in the morning, books at quiet time and books in the evening. I sure hope they love reading later as much as they love it now. Please, please, please let it be so.

How about you? If it were up to you or your children, would you read to them all day?

The A-Z of Parenting Tips were inspired by this article in the Courier Mail.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

a is for affection

Affection: Display some to your children every day. It will help them to feel worthwhile and special.

If all the A-Z of parenting tips were as easy as the Letter A, parenthood would be a breeze.

The mere fact that babies, toddlers and children are simply gorgeous, little, cuddly and needy gives us the reason to physically touch them regularly.

On the hour every hour or even more frequently, my eldest son asks: "Can I have a nice warm cuddle?"

Sometimes it's because he's been found guilty of something a little bit naughty, because he hurt himself, because he's delaying going to bed, or something else he doesn't want to do. And sometimes it's just because.

What's better than smelling your child's hair, feeling their breath on your face, holding their warm chubby bodies or feeling their soft, silky skin?

When it comes to affection from my boys, my cup runs over.

How about you?

The A-Z of Parenting Tips were inspired by this article in the Courier Mail.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

abcs of parenting

First of all, thanks so much for joining me on my silly ride.

It's time to reflect on a month of silly things and realise that if you're going to take a really honest look in the mirror, it will be letting you family and friends (and possibly the whole world) know about your embarrassing habits. Well, the less cringe-worthy ones anyway.

And on the up side, writing about these traits certainly gets you doing something about them.

Like the broken glass eye cream jar. I invested in a plastic pump pack and my eyes (and fingers) have been ever so grateful. The make up samples... I decided that it might be best to save money on other things to pay off my husband's recent Europe trip. And I plan to be so unorganised for my next family baby arrival, that they will think that I've forgotten all about them. Although I am still quite fandangled as to how to put together the set top box. Perhaps it's a good thing, as I'm not really a big TV fan. But on days like today I wouldn't mind an all day kids channel...

So, a new theme. How about the A-Z of parenting tips inspired by this article I read in the Courier Mail? Because "raising children should be as simple as ABC" (apparently). That should be fun. Because I'm such an expert at it. You know, fabulous and perfect (cough, cough). But more my take on parenting.

Now, that could be interesting.

22nd silly thing | things that don't work

If you know anything about me (or have read the above link 'your questions answered') you will know that I'm a little bit of a techno-nerd. But nobody seems to believe me.

Here's proof:
  • I was super excited when work updated my laptop recently.
  • The latest version of Adobe Design Premium sent me into a dizzy spin.
  • When I purchased an iPhone, I couldn't sleep with the excitement.
  • the minute the T-Hub was available to me, I arranged a package with Telstra.
  • a digital set top box was on special at one of my favourite stores, and I bought it without hesitation.
Of course my love for technology is severely debilitated by our finances (having children will do that).

I dream of a surround sound system, flat screen digital television and computer all joined up. Then my graphic designs would truly be on the big screen (I'd love to work on that)! Oh, and I'd have a row of iPads too. One for every family member. Wouldn't that be nice? (Sigh.)

Anyhow, back to the set top box. It was bought for my husband's birthday so he could watch TV at his convenience (he really hates the ads, plus he refuses to be locked into a TV program at any one time). He went away for work (as he does regularly), and I thought I would surprise him before he got home and have it installed.

Well, he came back last night and the above picture is what he came home to. And we still don't have digital television.

You see, I haven't had much success in putting it together. I even called my husband to see if he could help me. In Sydney. Then I called a male friend (after all, he's a guy - he'll know what to do). In Adelaide. Then my step-dad. In Adelaide. You see, technically my helpers in the other state would be able to help me if they lived nearby. But have you ever tried to connect a stereo, DVD player and a television succesfully to a set top box over the phone without seeing how it works? Me neither, so it would seem.

And the control freak in me is, well, freaking out. And I refrain from giving up on anything. I'm no quitter.

But I am really tempted.

The thought of returning the product is also quite tempting, because as much as a carpenter shouldn't blame his tool for not working, I'm doing just that.

But here's the state of the box:

It may have been left it out a few minutes too long. Not on purpose of course. It's just that my son is just as obsessed with boxes as I am with technology.

So, what to do? I'm in a quandry. Any ideas?