Tag Archives: parenting

Navigating the grey zone, and pear and date muffins because cake.

29 Jul
Note : pears are missing because I already whizzed them in the food processor.

Note : pears are missing because I already whizzed them in the food processor.

My step mother came over for lunch on Sunday. Technically, she’s my Dad’s ex-wife but she’ll always be my step mum.

When D Man asked me who she was it was kind of hard for me to explain so we entered into the unchartered territory of ‘STEP…’.

The easiest way for me to explain was by relating it to us, and our family and it felt very alien and surreal.

“If Daddy was to marry someone else she would be your step-mum.”

It sounded matter of a fact enough coming out of my mouth, but it tasted like a dusty tumble weed rolling over my tongue, and yet a little monkey somewhere banged a drum that made me squint with one eye as my sphincter clenched.

But that’s what a step-mother is.

We’re all doing really well though, thanks for asking.

Finding a rhythm and slipping into a groove. The kids are fine mostly, nary a blip. Weekend visits are surprisingly easy, except for that one time…. the day I forgot Ratty.

The very first blog I ever wrote was about that Rat and his place in the family has probably heightened rather than lessened over the years.

Ratty has traveled more extensively than some adults I know and Boy and Rat have never spent a night apart….But in my rush to get out the door for a Daddy sleep over night Rat was left behind.

I could blame the 4 year old because technically I gave Ratty to him to carry to the car, but you really can’t trust a four year old to take responsibility for something so important.

D Man eating pear and date muffinBy the time we realised the smelly old Rat was left behind, I was on my way to dinner with friends. You see dropping your kids off is great in many ways, but a little bit quiet and lonely in others so I’m also finding my new groove.

That’s not at all bad.

I’m on my way to dinner when I get the call that Ratty was not in the bag and not in the car, and, and, and…..

No Rat.

It kind of broke the top off something I’d screwed down pretty tight. Tears blurred my vision as I drove through the dark, and I brushed them away as fast as they came worried about my mascara and arriving at dinner looking like a Zombie but then suddenly I couldn’t keep up with them, so I just let them roll. Bloody smelly old, bunk eyed rat.

But they weren’t really tears for the Rat.

But I guess we all know that.

pear and date muffinsAnyway, I’m keeping busy, like usual, so when we had a play date recently I thought I’d whip up a batch of something to offer the guests. We’ve also been rocking them for breakfast.

I had some squishy pears in the bowl and I thought I’d make some low sugar muffins sweetened with those bad boys.

This is so easy because you chuck it all into the food processor and you’re on your way. Sort of.

 Pear and Date Muffins

What you will need :

  • 2 over ripe pears, smooshed with a fork
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 50g butter, melted and cooled
  • 125 g dates, chopped
  • 50g walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 50g choc chips, or chopped dark chocolate (optional)

pear and date muffins

What you will need to do : 

Pre-heat over to 180C. LiPlace your muffin cases in your tray.

Core your pears and whack them into the food processor and whizz them up. Throw your flours, sugar and baking powder in and then add your milk, eggs and butter.

Take the bowl off the processor and stir in your dates, choc chips and walnuts, and spoon your mixture into the muffin cases.

Pop into the over for 15-20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

 

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‘Mama, are you going to die?’…. lessons in death.

27 May lessons in death
the fam halloween

Could dress ups like these be responsible for his fascination with death??? My bad.

D Man is slightly obsessed with dying at the moment, and when I say slightly I’m playing it down.

Every time his little voice pipes up with another question my mind starts racing because I really don’t know if I’m handling it properly. I mean, I’m being honest about it. That’s what you do with kids, right?

Honesty.

I’m being frank and matter of fact, but whilst not sugar coating it exactly, I’m definitely not discussing childhood illnesses that may cause imminent death, so we’re working with honesty, to a point.

It’s curly questions like these that really make me realise my boy is no longer a baby. His little synapses are processing stuff and putting stuff together and asking some big questions…. ones I’m not totally prepped for. I think when it comes time for sex and wanking conversations, I’ll be all over it, but something about this death chat freaks me a bit. I’m not afraid of death myself, but D Man is getting upset by all of his questions.

I’m really not certain where his new curiosity has sprung from but a typical conversation goes something like this.

‘Mama, am I going to die?’

‘Yes, honey, everyone dies one day, but I hope you’re not going to die for a really long time.’

‘Are you going to die?’

‘I am, but I’m not planning on it until I’m older than Grandpapa.’

(Sorry Dad, somehow you became the benchmark for old age. His great grandparents are simply too old to fathom.)

Often around this mark of the conversation he will start to keen a little, or whimper.

‘I don’t want you to die.’

This is where it gets tricky……because I’m not trained for this conversation, and because I HAVE NO TACT. This part is the part where my mouth goes dry, and my mind races to find the right words to explain that death is a part of life. It’s inevitable, and although it’s sad to lose someone…..then breaking my revery he cries -

‘I don’t want Kiki to die!!!’

I try to gently explain the whole Circle of Life business but we’re not quite up to wrapping our heads around the idea ; we seem to be stuck on the death part.

The biggest thing kids have a hard time understanding, apparently, is the permanence of death. That you no longer eat, or sleep, or breathe. I feel like he gets that though, hence the fear he has of death.

It wouldn’t be so bad if he just asked once or twice, but we’re covering the same territory probably twice a day at the moment. I thought I would turn to my trusty parenting encyclopaedia The Internet, but the first site I came across suggested a good way to broach the subject is when a family pet dies.

Now, I admit wholeheartedly that Mister Pants can be an utter jerk but I don’t think killing him and holding a kitty funeral is the solution here… nor is buying a  stupid fish tank with stupid fish that I’ll be stuck cleaning once a week until I do actually kill the unfortunate creatures who inhabit it.

Surely, that’s more of a lesson in murder than mortality?

Most posts are about teaching a child to cope with grief after loss, or expressing my own sadness at losing a loved one. We haven’t actually lost a loved one, nor a pet, so it’s not like death has knocked on our door with it’s cold and brittle fingers. This inquisitiveness has come out of the blue.

It’s totally normal, I realise, and even covering the same ground many times over is fine, he’s just processing. Apparently I should be encouraging further discussion about it to make sure we’ve really got everything covered off in his brain but I’m just kinda sitting with it and letting him drive this one.

I figure as long as he doesn’t start asking me about my will, I won’t worry that he’s asking about my death.

 

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And then you were 2.

8 May kiki at 2

kiki babyAt kindy the other day one of your teachers asked me if I’d been having any trouble with you, my littlest love.

I responded that I had notices a few changes, that you had indeed been more obstinate, more disobedient than usual, why did she ask?

She told me that you not only blatantly refused to do as you were asked a number of times, but you gave her a filthy death stare as you stood your ground.

I was secretly a little bit proud. It’s hard to be cross with you.

kiki and dexIs this 2, we wonder?

Do we have an entire year of this before the threes take hold?

My love, my dear heart, my sweet little girl, I think this may actually be you. Feisty, determined, fierce.

You are such a headstrong creature that I think perhaps we are destined to years of you blatantly, obstinately disregarding directions and doing whatever the hell you want.

kiki 2You know what?

Maybe if you were my first child I would worry, but as my second, I think ‘you go, girl’. You are so delightful in a myriad of ways that your desire to stand your ground ought to serve you well in time.kiki in bumbo

We will butt heads no doubt, but your soft and loving side will never be buried too far beneath your stubbornness and I think I will always be able to snaffle a schnuggle out of you.

You do love a schnuggle and I love to bury my nose into the soft flesh of your neck and just breathe in the caramel smell of my baby…. even though you’re not quite as sweet smelling as you once were, I’ll always be intoxicated by you.

kiki around 1

You will always be my baby girl, and I will always have your back.

The time has gone fast, my girl. It’s been a wild ride with many changes but it’s passed me by in a flash of firsts.

You were slow to walk.

I imagined you crawling into your first day of high school for a while there, but there you finally stood on your chubby little legs and you wobbled your butt as you took those first uncertain strides. Now you run. You fall a lot so I’m guessing you have your mother’s coordination, but you do so love to run….away from me when I’m trying to get you into the car, or get you dressed.

kiki 2You may have been slow to walk but you are quick to laugh. You think your brother is hilarious, except when you think he’s a pain in the ass. You oscillate about 60/40, I reckon.

You’re generous with your love. Throwing your arms around people, throwing your entire little body at them for a cuddle. Pulling yourself onto laps, locking yourself around legs. You have no shortage of love to give, this much I know.

Today is your 2nd birthday, dear Kikster.

You talk better than many of your peers, and count to 20 but you still pee your pants so we won’t put you down as a prodigy just yet, but know that your Mama thinks you’re the coolest little girl in the world.

kiki at 2Because you’re mine.

And your double dimples simply melt me every. single. time.

Happy birthday, Angel.

Today is your day and we will eat chocolate cake, and drink strawberry smoothies, swing you on the garden swing, go and feed the ducks and paint with bright colours, because these are the things that you enjoy the most, and we shall do them with gusto on your second birthday.

kiki almost 2I love you, Wiggles.

Always,

Your Mama.

 

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10 Things You Will Hate About Me

24 Apr I had had about 500 glasses of wine in this picture taken by Catherine Rodie. Please refer to point 8.

I had had about 500 glasses of wine in this picture taken by Catherine Rodie. Please refer to point 8.

The joy of the inter webs is you can fully brand yourself any way you please and paint a fantabulous picture of an overachieving domestic goddess who never puts a foot wrong style wise, be it in home or attire, food wise, or parenting wise.

A perfect wife, an awesome friend, and frankly, your farts don’t even smell because computers haven’t advanced to Smellivision yet.

Let me tell you, I am a little bit like what you see, but mostly I’m like a revolting teenage boy.

I am so gross sometimes my habits even disgust myself.

I’m not always a good friend, and I’m often a distracted, cranky and terrible wife and mother.

I have loads of great clothes but tend to wear the same 5 things because I mostly live in suburban parks and supermarkets and I often accessorise with snot and cooties… or I’m in smelly gym gear as I’m endeavouring to work out the suburban angst in the spin room.

I do eat well for the most part, as I represent, but really I just take pictures of the good shit and figure if there’s no photographic evidence of the fish fingers and cheesy beans on toast then my culinary skills will never come into question. I actually enjoy eating down sometimes, there’s great comfort to be found in ghetto nosh.

I’m going to come clean today with 10 things (in no particular order) you previously did not know about me that will probably make you think I’m a little bit gross, tacky or an arsehole.

1. I’m bossy as all fuck

I’m ok with the word bossy, because I am bossy. I’ve always been bossy, and I’ve always been called bossy. Haven’t needed therapy for that particular chestnut thus far.

2. I bite the skin around my fingernails

I don’t even realise I’m doing most of the time, but other times it’s a very conscious thing. No finger is spared, however I pay particular attention to my right index finger which generally has no finger print, which would be awesome if I could rob a bank with a single digit.

3. I like getting my own way and am prone to sulking when I don’t.

What an arsehole, right? I can’t help it if my ideas are the better ones.

4. I offend people all the time.

Obviously I don’t mean to, but my big mouth has a tiny filter and words can fall out around the edges of it. Also, I’m big on thinking after I speak.
Maybe I’ll think before I speak when I’m a grown up. Something to look forward to.

5. I peed in public pools until only a couple of years ago.

Told you you’d hate me.

6. I have been known to park in a child friendly parking space when I don’t have the children with me.

Only did it twice, but I can’t guarantee I’d never do it again.

7. I like passing wind in the car with the kids in the back.

I owe them, man. It’s only fair.

8. After only one drink I swear like a drunken Irish sailor.

Seriously, more than every second word.

9. I’m anal about washing up the kitchen immediately after eating.

I hate waking up to a dirty kitchen.

10. I smacked both of my children yesterday evening.

They fought all day and I lost my cool.
I hate that about me too.

 

To be honest, I could probably rattle off another 10 without really having to think but I’d hate to give all of my foulness away in one post.

 

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4

10 Apr Dexter

first lookMy big little man,

1459 days we’ve spent together but it’s been 1460 nights.

35, 040 hours have past since you were first laid upon my bare breast and you looked straight at me, straight in my eyes, and they said -

I KNOW YOU.

That first night with you beside my bed I couldn’t sleep a wink. I couldn’t believe you were here. I couldn’t believe you were mine.

So perfect, so sweet smelling. That didn’t last.

D Man and mama

Countless heartbeats have passed between us but your heartbeats are your own now. I used to feel every one, but you are getting more distant as you turn from a baby into a boy. In a few more blinks of my eyes you’ll be a man.

They always said it goes fast, and it does. Not the nights. The endless, drawn out nights where you cried, or were ill, and I held you, but they seem so far away now when all you want from me is maybe a quick cuddle or to take you for a pee before you roll over and snuggle your face into Rat and spoon that toy that is no longer bigger than you.

You’re so confident and smart. You chat to people, and you charm them with your funny wit or silliness, unless you drive them nuts with your whining. That happens too.

You surprise me and delight me endlessly and I really couldn’t be prouder of you.

D man almost oneToday you are four.

The first birthday that I won’t be with you all day.

I feel a healthy dose of mother’s guilt over that, but it’s also the first birthday that your Papa has spent the whole day with you. He’ll show you a grand old time and we’ll kick it large on the weekend with a chocolate cake bigger than your head.

When we were leaving the supermarket today I gave you and Kiki a biscuit. You were stoked, but your cranky pants sister didn’t want it and she hit it out of my hand and onto the ground.

Then she wanted it, naturally.

I refused to give her another, and nor would I pick the one up off the carpark floor, and she squawked and squawked. As we were driving off she suddenly went quiet. I figured she was inhaling a really huge breath in order to give it some more however when I turned she was eating half a biscuit.

D man about twoYou had split yours and passed it over in the backseat.

Now, don’t get me wrong, boy, you are a stinker when you want to be, and you torture that poor sister of yours, but in that moment I saw your true character, and you’re a good dude.

Happy birthday, D Man.

I love you to the shops and back,

Mama xxx

DSC_0289 D Man 4

Milestones, tears and lunchbox scrolls

1 Apr scrolls

Kiki's first day of kindyKiki’s little body looked so tiny when her new pink and turquoise butterfly bag was hoisted onto her back.

She wouldn’t let me carry it for her even though with her water bottle and lunchbox it was kind of heavy. She was well chuffed to finally have a school bag to call her own. Maybe she’ll grow up to be lover of fine handbags, or kooky carriers that look like animals.

Or just a crazy bag lady.

Walking up the footpath, heading to her first day of daycare, my heart was as heavy in my chest as her bag looked on her shoulders.

Always fiercely independent Kiki wouldn’t even let me help her by taking some of the weight, so I left her because essentially that’s what this day is about.

The second cutting of the cord.

She’s been looking forward to this day for weeks, always sad when we drop D Man off, always wanting to stay and play with the kids. She’s ready. I have no doubt, it’s just that it’s come sooner than I thought and my heart is a little heavy.

This is a milestone. For Kiki and for myself.

Next Monday I’ll be starting a new job. My first day of work in four years. Technically, between writing books and blogs and scripts and stuff I have barely had a single day off, but now I’m GOING TO WORK.

Somewhere that will require pants and a bra.

Kiki’s first day at kindy is a turning point that marks the beginning of big changes in my life, and all our lives, and her smiling face as she was smearing Clag glue all over paper with more abandon than I would never allow at home reminds me that this the beginning of a new era and not just the end of an old one.

She’s only going two days a week, but right now that feels like a lot.

Kiki's first day of kindyI felt quite brave walking in but 15 minutes later as I kissed her little golden head goodbye I was quite shaky on the insides.

I gathered my things and called goodbye to her one last time, but she didn’t even turn to look at me as she was engrossed in something new and exciting.

It’s lucky, I suppose, because she would have seen tears welling in my eyes and a spectacularly wobbly lip as I severed that umbilical cord just a little bit further and say farewell to my baby.

I’ll pick her up after lunch. Just a short day on your first day, but I made sure her lunch was a special one, because she’s also mega proud of her new lunchbox. It’s just like her big brother’s, you see, and she thinks he’s pretty cool except when he’s licking her hair, sticking dinosaurs down her nappy or stealing her food.

scrolls2Cheesy lunchbox scrolls

Yield : 10 

What you will need :

  •  1 ½ cups plain flour (I used spelt)
  •  1 ½ cups wholemeal flour (I used spelt)
  •  3 teaspoons baking soda
  •  1 pinch Salt and cracked black pepper
  •  60 grams chilled butter, chopped
  •  ¾ cup milk
  •  3 tablespoons Mrs Balls Chutney (or whatever chutney floats your boat)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 rashers of bacon, diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs or thyme
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  •  1 ½ packed cups grated cheese
  • 1/2 zucchini grated
  •  Extra milk, for brushing (may require more)

scrollsWhat you will need to do :

Preheat oven to 210°C

Fry off your bacon until cooked and yummy. Set aside to cool.

Quick-whisk the flour (don’t forget my whisk trick, just whisk it! Place the flour into a bowl and give it a good whisk to aerate and remove lumps. My cheats’ version of sifting)

Add baking powder, salt and pepper and herbs in a bowl and add the butter then using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs. Toss in your chopped spring onion.

Make a well in the centre. Combine the milk with ½ cup water and pour the liquid into the well. Using a flat bladed knife, cut through the flour mixture until it comes together as a rough dough. If it’s too dry, add a little more water a teaspoon at a time.

Tip the dough onto a work surface dusted with flour and knead lightly until it can form a ball. Don’t overwork it. Roll out the dough to a rectangle approximately 30 x 40cm in size.

Mix your tomato paste and chutney together and smear over the entire surface, then sprinkle with cheese, cooled bacon and grated zucchini.

Roll up to form a big cigar. Slice the roll into pieces approximately 2cm wide and place scrolls so they are touching each other on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush each scroll with a little extra milk

Chuck them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through and crunchy. If the scrolls start to brown too quickly cover with foil
.

Cool on a wire rack then break apart.

kiki's first day of kindy

Failing motherhood and a penis in the meat department.

31 Jan D Man and Kiki
So sweet and innocent looking....

So sweet and innocent looking….

Sometimes I see these beautifully compliant children standing nicely beside their parents at the supermarket and I wonder if they’ve been doped.

Their parent is often casually blipping their groceries through the self-service check out, taking their time as though they’re not harbouring a child-sized time bomb in their trolley, and these lovely children are waiting patiently, maybe they’re even helping and smiling and chatting cutely.

My kids don’t do that.

Ever, that I can recall.

I guess it may have happened once or twice but the other mortifying experiences are burnt into my brain.

Sometimes I see child in a cafe and they sit nicely on their butts and drink their drinks happily without blowing bubbles, spilling it, digging their hands in it, or fighting over whose glass is whose. They dexterously dip their chip into a little tomato sauce and politely eat it.

My kids don’t do that either.

Recently in the supermarket my two were screaming at each other in the meat department.

They were loud. Really loud.

Not having an argument per se, more like screaming like two cavemen over the final dinosaur drumstick before the apocalypse set in and everyone died horrible deaths from acid rain and starvation. Know what I mean?

Using my public mothering voice I asked them to please be quiet as the other customers did not want to hear their screams, growls or blood curdling war cries.

 D Man was laughing manically between screams, tormenting his sister who was trapped in the pram, darting out of her reach before she could tear a clump of hair from his scalp, and Kiki was busting it up a notch from Feral to Foul.

I asked firmly for it to end.

Nada.

I whisper-growled with the quiet death tone for them to stop.

Nada.

There was a grey-haired, bespectacled lady perusing the lamb cutlets who was trying to pretend we did not exist. Fair play. I could seriously have walked out and left them there, hopping a cab to the airport and diving onto a plane to Puerto Rico.

When the final screech made my ears bleed I hissed at D Man to quit it and he proceeded to pull down his pants and waggle his penis at the pork cutlets.

Madame Grey Hair could no longer resist and she gave me a withering glare coupled with a tut.

Little terrors

Little terrors

‘I know, they’re foul and should never be allowed out. Their mother should be ashamed.’ I said in complete exasperation.

Lately I feel whenever I ask them to do anything they do the exact opposite. Even if it endangers them ; running on the road, wildly swinging sticks or sporting equipment, or just slapping each other upside UFC style.

Trying to get D Man to get dressed is unbelievable.

I ask him politely 10 times to get dressed and it’s not until I lose my shit, threaten violence and walk half way out to the car that he takes any notice….. and don’t get me started on bedtime.

Or teeth cleaning.

Or,

Or,

Or…..

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m failing motherhood.

I regularly lose library books, children’s socks and my cool.

I always forget the nappy bag, and 9 out of 10 times it doesn’t matter, but that other time?? Yep, at the mercy of kind strangers in the midst of a poonami.

I thought I’d be a Madonna-esque mother. Not pointy bra and crotch grabbing Madonna, but more like a gently smiling, blue swathed virgin, without the virgin bit.

I doubt Joseph ever walked in from a day hammering wooden nails and Mary thrust a whining, squalling, grubby faced Jesus in his hands as she hissed was going for a run before she killed someone.

I also doubt her sandals would have coped well cross-country.

There’s definitely a couple of minutes a day where they’re delightful, sometimes it’s even at the same time as each other. I love them dearly, don’t get me wrong, but I am struggling.

I’m not afraid to admit it to you for a few reasons.

One is that you’ve already seen my many lumps and bumps both literal and figurative, but also because if I’m struggling then surely, amongst all of those with it, onto it, composed, groomed mothers, there’s a couple of stragglers limping through to bed time daily wondering when the relentlessness will ease.

Since I started writing this I’ve had a mega breakthrough with D Man by taking away TV privileges. Do something the first time I ask, or that’s it for the day.

It’s working!!

One small win for Mama Bear and I feel like I can cope for another week.

It’s all about the little victories when the battle seems never ending, innit?

Me. All. Over.

Me. All. Over.

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If your desk reflects your brain, your car reflects your….?

16 Jan *source*
DISCLAIMER : Not actually going to ever firebomb my car, nor do I suggest you do.
*source* DISCLAIMER : Not actually going to ever firebomb my car, nor do I suggest you do.

*source*
DISCLAIMER : Not actually going to ever firebomb my car, nor do I suggest you do.

I’ve heard it said that your desk, and the clutter or lack thereof may reflect the way you work and the way you think.

As I currently sit here typing I’m looking at a soft toy dog, a Quad Copter, boxing wrist straps, a cloth wine gift bag from my book launch 2 MONTHS AGO, a silk scarf, two note pads, 5 million Woolworths animal cards that I never put into an album, various pieces of unopened mail probably not containing love letters, a parking fine and some paw paw cream…. and an empty coffee cup.

Sometimes people ask me how I manage to do everything I do.

The answer is simple.

When most stay at home parents clean, I do more fun stuff.

The result is this blog, and a less than pristine house.

I’m fairly ok with the concept that the inside of my head is a tad on the unruly end of the spectrum and I’ll never suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder.

 I actually tidied my desk today….. Well, technically, it’s the dining table.

I do have a tidy desk in a tidy office but the second I sit in said office my offspring take it as a sign to pull everything out of the kitchen drawers, chase each other with crab crackers and metal skewers and go hand skating on my CD collection.

BS, Before Sproglets, I was never fanatical about my car interior, but I never had extraneous stuff or rubbish in my car either.

That said, I also NEVER had dried yoghurt sprays up interior car doors, seats or windows, fossilised apple cores, sand enough to bank up New Orleans should they require again, odd socks, random toys missing limbs and petrified rice crackers.

What if the state of your car interior is indicative of your soul?

I’m stuffed. Frankly.

Let’s just face it.

In my defence, my little driver’s area is actually really rather neat.

Perhaps there’s an area of my soul that’s not in danger of immortal peril.

My personal space in the car has small amount of sand. A dried up, vaguely cheesy wet wipe in the console (I tried to sort that yoghurt problem but I was driving), an eaten pear core (not mine, handed to me whilst driving yesterday and on exiting the car my hands were already full), otherwise not too bad, in the grand scheme of car filth. I’ve seen way worse.

But, really, what if it is representative of a part of my psyche???

Shudder to think.

While I’m on the subject, I may as well confess to the state of the children’s seats.

Do you allow your children to eat in the car?

Don’t.

Ever.

I do, and when my children are finished with those chairs I will not be putting them on eBay. I will be giving them to the science department of the university to run tests on.

There is a microcosmos going down in the cracks of those chairs that consists largely of crumbs, squashed sultanas and bum sweat.

I wish I could find the ideal car food for them but I’m still searching.

It’s not banana. No way.

That gack gets squished everywhere and by the time the mercury hits 35C my car reeks like a gorilla’s yawn.

It’s also certainly not muffins, crackers, sandwiches, or anything that may crumb because by the time my tiny beasts are done with it the morsels left in the chair cracks are enough to feed a sponsor child.

I regularly think about cleaning the car out.

I think about it hard…. but when it comes to getting the extension cord and the vacuum cleaner and, and, and….. the thought makes me need to have a cup of tea.

Or bottle of wine.

I know you’re thinking why not a car wash?

Love, love, love the idea but then I’m stuck sitting there with toddlers while they detail my car for a million dollars.

Maybe I should simply start driving Mister H’s nice tidy car more often because no matter how hot it gets it never smells like cheesy banana.

In fact, it’s so beautifully clean that sometimes I just want to sit in there in the late afternoon, lock the doors, turn up Triple J and leave the kids to the witching hour.

To be honest, a large part of me thinks perhaps it would be easier if I just firebomb the family wagon, get myself a cheeky car loan and buy that Mustang I’ve always fancied myself driving.

Can you get baby seats in a ‘Stang?

*** THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. ALL THOUGHTS ARE MY OWN***

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  – A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

Get your filth on in the Mud Kitchen

21 Dec kiki mud kitchen

mud kitchen collageKelly over at Be A Fun Mum is always so inspiring. She’s a beautiful mother. Thoughtful, thought provoking and gentle.

Not to mention fun.

She totally lives up to her name. Whenever I do anything super fun I think of her so when I set up my mud kitchen I dropped her a line straight away.

I’m down with dirt. I’m down with mud.

I can be a fun mum too.

Some things in life are quite simply meant to go together.

Gin loves tonic, a pie lives for sauce, feet adore massages and children delight in dirt.

A friend of mine was talking about setting up a mud kitchen in her garden complete with muffin trays and wooden spoons and my initial reaction was of fear of mess.

I’m often prone to this fear.

Then I thought about it.

I’ve been working on my acceptance of messy play for as long as I’ve had children and I think for the most part I’m winning. I can mix the Play Dough colours now without so much as a shiver, and when I find paint all over the children, and floor, I can now laugh rather than freak out… too much.

Texta/crayons/pencil on the couch or walls still gets me where it hurts however, but I imagine nary a parent out there is down with furniture enhanced by toddler graffiti.

The more I thought about my friend’s idea, the more I realized that the mud kitchen is actually quite genius.

To read more about setting up my mud kitchen pop over to Be A Fun Mum here.

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  – A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

I’m extending my freebie offer to keep up the Christmas spirit.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

The joy of giving.

19 Dec guilt free truffles (2 of 1)

guilt free truffles (1 of 1)I recently popped over to Woolies Babies and Toddlers for a little chat about giving, and Christmas, and I dropped off a couple of recipes for some homemade truffles.

I usually really love Christmas.

This year I’m struggling to get in the swing a little, it seems like Christmas has kinda snuck up on me and I’m not quite ready. I need another month, please.

I’m going to officially wrap presents today and stick them under the tree in hope of getting with the vibe.

Remember that feeling you’d get in your tummy on Christmas Eve as a child?

You’ve laid out some biscuits and milk for Santa, and a carrot or two for Rudolph. You get packed off to bed with wishes of sweet dreams, but you know full well that you are not going to sleep tonight.

No way.

You’re going to wait up to see Santa.

You don’t care about tradition, or religion. You care not for the family lunch your mother has been preparing for days. You’re not fussed about carols or cards, because all you can think about are those shiny, colourful packages under the tree with your name on them.

To check out the rest of this post pop over to Woolworths Babies and Toddlers here

guilt free truffles (4 of 1)

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  – A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

I’m extending my freebie offer to keep up the Christmas spirit.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

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