Mummawoosah confessions:”I am a try-hard”

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Mummawoosah confessions:”I am a try-hard”

It has been one crazy mofo of a week at mummawoosah HQ.

Trying to keep calm during a trip to the ER (thank God lil Lewis is ok….ooh and hubby and I can now add ‘catching pee into tiny test tube with only one of us getting peed on’ to our parenting repertoire)

Trying to ‘just keep swimming’ second week into a new job

Trying to stay on the elusive path of finding that ‘balance’ between being home work/ family work and “work work” (for like every other working mumma I never clock off my priority job of being mumma)

Trying to keep on top of organising my very first fashion editorial photoshoot this weekend

Trying to keep fit, eat healthy (ok ok second confession: I am eating a Tim tam as I type!)

Trying to stay awake 🙂 trying to get more sleep….sleep, brings a WHOLE new meaning to ‘gettin’ some’

Trying to keep on top of the to-do lists that I only have to blame myself for adding more things to (but try just as hard to get through so I can cross things off….who am I kidding!!! 😉

Trying to keep my cool and not yell and take my frustrations out on the boys….on the hubby….on those around me who love me the most.

Trying to not think that one of my dearest friends will be moving away for two and a half months (love you Lina) who herself will be facing her own challenges as she will be away from her own family during this time.

Trying to remember that as much as I think I am, I am not Wonder Woman.

Trying to remind myself to cut myself some slack already!

Are we sensing a theme here?

I often get asked ‘how do I manage it all?’, and to that I can only answer- I just keep trying.

I have no secret to how I get shit done (or in my head think is done – it’s as complete as it needs to be in my head so I consider that as “shit done”). So yes that means my Mt Washmore is always overflowing but my children have gone to bed with a bedtime story, cuddles and another bedtime snuggle.

Yes that means whilst I do have OCD with so many things (compulsive list-making and cooking 3 meals at once so I don’t have to for the next 2 being some of them, im sure theres a whole ‘nother post for that one 😉 that’s ok- it’s my system of trying and my way of getting shit done.

I’m learning everyday new things about me, my children, those closest to me, those who claim to be closest to me, and those who have surprised me at how close (and sadly not so close) they really are..

I’m trying to truly embrace and live the mantra “ain’t nobody got time for that” and truly letting go of negative energy and negative people around me…I will just not waste my time on any of that.

So where am I going with this? I found this quote a while ago and it’s one that’s struck such a chord with me…read it you’ll understand why….

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So yes I am a try-hard, cause I ain’t ashamed to say that I try and work hard…for everything. Its not by chance or by coincidence. I try hard and often fall just as hard but at least I know how to pick myself up and be a try-hard all over again…

Anyone else want to ‘Fess up and be a try-hard with me?

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Linking up with fellow ‘try-hard’ mumma Grace for Flog yo blog Friday

The importance of making time

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The importance of making time

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The post speaks for itself….MAKE the time

This past week I was housebound and for the most part- sofabound while I recover from facing quite possibly my biggest fear to date-getting my wisdom teeth out after EIGHT years of putting it off!

In lockdown mode away from the world, as much pain, grogginess and chipmunk/Michelin man face state I was in, the one thing I’ve truly enjoyed is the TIME I’ve had…
to myself
to be with my family
to appreciate Mr Woosah for being the most amazing hubby and dad to our boys
to cherish that I do still have my mom closeby to come and look after me (you’re never too old for that 🙂
to rest
and finally…..to heal

I’m not saying you have to go the extreme of having surgery but even just for a moment, make the time people, make the time….

{Sponsored Post} Vintage Vixen for a Day

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{Sponsored Post} Vintage Vixen for a Day

Fifties retro fashion and styling, makeup, hair did, a glamour photoshoot with a kitsch and lovingly restored ‘50’s caravan named Peggy Sue, ooh and food glorious food – what’s there not to love of this amazing combo!?

And this is exactly what I was treated to when I was asked to be a ‘Vintage Vixen’ for a day. Vintage Vixens – the brainchild of four local (Canberra) mummas- Olivia Phengrasmy of Party With Peggy, Sommer Deaves of Be.you.tiful Therapy, Brooke Varova of Rockabilly Boutique and Jen Everart – Jen Everart Photography.

oooh lala vintage vixen for a day :)

oooh lala vintage vixen for a day 🙂

Their mission: join creative forces and make a woman feel totally pampered and glamorous for a day and take home the photos to prove it. Challenge accepted for this vintage lovin’ mumma.
So why Vintage Vixens? I asked each of the girls:
Olivia –”I love being involved with VV! I just love the girls and what we do and stand for. We are all mumma’s and work our butts off to follow the dream. I love meeting new people and love that for the day we make ladies feel special and beautiful.”

Brooke – “For me I think it’s the experience and the confidence it brings with it….I love the results too, it’s a lovely way to get some great photos that are fun rather than looking like something that should be hanging in a mausoleum!”

Jen – “it’s about getting mum out of their comfort zones and being pampered and primped and feeling pretty and confident

Sommer – “I love how it’s not just an average photoshoot. It’s an experience”

Vintage Vixens promised that I would ‘Step back in time & let us transform you into a VINTAGE VIXEN’

Here’s my little wrapup of this amazing experience – thank you girls! Way to make this mumma feel oh-so-fabulous!

PRE SHOOT
I was so impressed with the directions and what to expect notes sent out before the shoot. Even getting a pick of outfits on their facebook page and ‘how to pose’ tips….I was perfecting my pout the week leading up to it I can assure you 🙂 I was one of six girls booked on the Saturday – each of us given an allocated timeslot to arrive

ON THE DAY
The allocated timeslot was brilliant. The girls timekeeping and organisation skills were impeccable. I could hardly believe this was the first ever group shot. I pulled up to see Peggy Sue all ready for to play centre stage! Inside was even more pretty things (furs, satins, polka dots, peep-toe heels, halternecks and all things ‘50’s retro glam.

Peggy Sue

Peggy Sue

Check out the gorgeous dresses and shoes (and food :) I got to choose from!

Check out the gorgeous dresses and shoes (and food 🙂 I got to choose from!

It was makeup first with Sommer (owner of Be – youtiful Therapy) and pin-up girl herself. A fellow mumma of two boys, the at-home salon owner wanted to bring the glam and feminism of the ’50;s (something she’s been a fan of since highschool) back to everyday ladies – like you, like me.
Her knowledge of the era was evident in her attention to detail – I felt like an absolute doll when she was finished!

The compulsory 'before' and 'after' the girls had worked their magic

The compulsory ‘before’ and ‘after’ the girls had worked their magic

It was onto hair next with the lovely Brooke of Rockabilly Boutique. Her Mercedes Benz Fashion Week days and ability to switch styles to achieve different looks – I was blown away! Not just with how she did my hair but how quickly she transformed all of our tresses into these pin-up perfect ‘do’s.
Then it was outside to have photos with Jen of Jen Everart Photography. She made me feel so at ease. Whilst I had been perfecting my pout in the lead-up to the photoshoot, as a non-model, she gave such clear directions (and when needed demonstrations as I too am a very visual person) of how to sit, how to pose I soon felt quite comfortable ‘looking up / down, sideways’ ooh and practicing my vowels to make THE best faces 🙂
I must admit too, being all frocked up you couldn’t help but get into character and with all the attention to detail with all the props (snaps Olivia from Party with Peggy) for my 15 minutes, I actually did feel like a Stepford Housewife pinup!

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The VV girls at work (top) and bottom – the girls themselves – (from left to right) – Brooke, Jen, Olivia and Sommer)

Throughout the entire shoot, what also impressed me were the girls who came along – many of them brought their children and they were taken care of too! For myself personally though, I chose to live it up and not bring the boys, but lovely to know they are more than welcome.
As part of the Vintage Vixen package, as well as the makeup, hair and photos, you also get two outfit choices so two completely different looks. The transition between my outfit changes (meanwhile the hair, makeup, styling and photos were still going) was so smooth. Definitely no waiting around.

And quite possibly one of the best parts of the day, was the before / during and after goodies catered by Party with Peggy.

Yes, girls – food, fashion, fifties, fun and photos! I could’ve put an ‘f’ for photos but that breaks every grammar bone in my body!

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The Vintage Vixens promised a day where I could:

‘spoil myself to some fun and pin-up glamour, to sit back, relax and be utterly pampered, be Beyoutified, indulge in scrumptious food and step back in time and have the magic captured’ 

It’s true. I did get all of that…and yes, all I did have to do was perfect my pout. What do you think?

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Why not go and get the Vintage Vixen treatment and see for yourself!?

Hen’s night?  Birthday present? Or something different to spoil just YOU! Contact the girls to create your very own Vintage Vixen glamorous pin-up memories

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*This was a sponsored post from Vintage Vixens. I was very generously sponsored a photoshoot to get the full experience for the writeup. Your very own Vintage Vixens package includes: hair, makeup, styling with two outfits, and three photos of your choice from the shoot to take home.

*************Teaming up for some school holiday fun with the lovely Grace of With Some Grace for Flog yo blog Friday***********

Helping from above and beyond the underground – fashion with a heart

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Helping from above and beyond the underground – fashion with a heart

“Over 50% of our homeless are under the age of 25….many victims of domestic and family abuse…as little as $4 a day can feed somebody” Shannon Pickles from Vinnies ACT said at the Help from Underground fashion parade last Wednesday night.

The ‘our’ is right here in my hometown, Canberra. That $4 is LESS than my daily latte. That somebody could be somebody we, YOU, ME can help. That somebody I pray none of us ever have to be ourselves. Did you know: “The ACT has the second highest rate of homelessness of any Australian State or Territory, with domestic violence, housing affordability and family breakdown identified as the primary culprits” (Georgia, Red Magpie)

Held for the second year in the basement carpark of Zoo Advertising, close to 700 Canberrans rugged up and dug deep to raise funds for St Vincent De Paul  and support Zoo’s Managing Director Clint Hutchinson’s reach his personal fundraising target for the annual CEO Vinnie’s Sleepout.

As last year’s top CEO fundraiser, this year’s show was set to be an even bigger quest to try and reach his $36,000 target. With the crew from Fashfest including six of the local designers (wnd.ind, MecandtheMaid, Shekudo, Sovata, CorrBlimey , Perpetually Five) and students from CIT  styling up their finds from Vinnies Tuggeranong, I was excited to see what creations would be coming down the catwalk.

With mulled wine and soup being served up from Public, an uber cool performance from local crew Project Beats to look forward to,  and for the first time, a pop-up opshop – the brainchild of Fiona from Opshoppers and a collective Canberra blogger prescence of ClosetVoyage, Red Magpie, Elles’ Fashion Boudoir, Time After Tea, HerCanberra and little ol’ me channelling my former rag trade days and selling all the donated pieces to also help reach Clint’s target, the buzz was incredible to say the least. A definite “BOOM” if I can quote Clint from my Fashfest coverage.

An eclectic mix of collections paraded down the catwalk all very warmly received by the appreciative  crowd, and from where I sat (next to the lovely Georgia of Red Magpie and Elle of Elle’s Fashion Boudoir), the look of disbelief that ALL of these items were opshop finds.  From current trends with mono prints, rich burgundies and berries, muted camels and earthy tones to shiny metallics, and a fun gelato summer palette, they were all there. Prints and rich textures ruled with tartan and yes I know, my favourite leopard print, and the most divine furs and leathers again sourced from Vinnies Tuggeranong to the more adventurous and equally striking ‘neon sportive’ and THE most creative headpieces I’ve ever seen  – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a fruitbowl – ‘nuff said.

Here are some of my favourite catwalk looks from the night (pics by Martin Ollman):

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And a few snaps from the night including our little pop-up opshop:

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From L-R: Elle of Elle's Fashion Boudoir, Fiona from Opshoppers, moi, Georgia from Red Magpie (missing - Jiawa of Closet Voyage)

From L-R: Elle of Elle’s Fashion Boudoir, Fiona from Opshoppers, moi, Georgia from Red Magpie (missing – Jiawa of Closet Voyage)

But the closing segment – The Blue Segment –  where each of the designers had to style a blue outfit in honour of Vinnie’s Blue Door Program – was the stark reminder of why we were all there helping from underground.“The St Vincent de Paul Blue Door drop-in centre at Ainslie Village provides accommodation, meals and support to more than 2000 Canberrans living on low incomes and was at risk of losing its funding when organisers Clinton and Andrea Hutchinson were planning Help from the Underground 2013” (Jenna Clarke, Canberra Times)

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In closing the night, Clint reminded us all:

“While we get to leave tonight into the warmth of our homes, so many Canberrans do not.”

So Canberra, what are you waiting for!?! As is the tagline for St Vincent De Paul’s Winter Appeal, this is our chance to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Be it a little or a lot – Donate to the cause.

Best of luck on  20th June to Clint and all those participating in the CEOVinnies Sleepout.

As for the creative forces and volunteers behind this year’s collective HFTU Opshop, this is just the beginning of giving that helping hand….stay tuned….

A list of parenting books that no one will ever have the guts to publish

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Best post I’ve read in a while – from the always hilarious Emily – LOVE

Have a laugh on me

Here’s 10 books about parenting that I could never potentially publish one day:

1. Boys are little turds – so get over it.

2. Things get easier – when you’re in a nursing home drinking sherry at midday.

3. When your kids say they hate you – they’re not tricking.

4. Top tips on how to hide from your kids and make it seem like a game.

5. Toilet training is crap – there’s no sugar-coating it.

6. Stinky Saturdays, Fug All Fridays and other hints on how to make parenting easier.

7. Why texters, play dough and craft have no place in your home.


8. You’re not alone – many mums dream about running to join the circus.

9. Parents secretly compare – so lie about your kid’s achievements just to screw with their heads.

10. And you thought you…

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One very happy (and hungry caterpillar) birthday party…ooh and my very first giveaway!

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One very happy (and hungry caterpillar) birthday party…ooh and my very first giveaway!

——we have a winner! Lisa B – Liv from Party with Peggy is looking forward to creating your Peppa Pig cookies and cake pops for the girls’ birthday! THANK YOU ALL for your entries!!————————————-

I don’t know about you but the very thought of planning a birthday party (or any party for that matter;) brings me back to my Bridezilla days….I will share that story with you another day – promise!

The cake, the guest list, the invitations, the venue, the food, the bonbonniere (ok ok I know they’re lolly bags but going with the Bridezilla thing,  just humour me 🙂 and at the same time, must still look and feel as homely and ‘homemade’ as possible!

So with both the boys’ birthdays falling in May (Oscar -5 and ill Lewis turning 1), balancing back-to-work 4 days a week and saving my (and my husband’s sanity!) I did what I do my best when I stress- I asked for help and outsourced. Not just to anyone, but to my darling friend Liv of Party with Peggy. That single decision was the start of the most stress-free birthday party (a joint one at that!) I have ever planned!

Party with Peggy is the brainchild of my friend and former colleague Liv. I admire this mumma of two who had the guts to leave the security of a public service job and venture into the unknown, follow her heart and setup a pop-up party business with Peggy-sue-her lovingly restored 1950’s caravan and her amazing knack of bringing all the homemade goodness and fun in her baking and party planning.

As our place wouldn’t be big enough to fit both sets of friends, (and going along the lines of stress and mess free) we decided to go back to the club (Henry’s of Southern Cross Club Jamison) where we held Oscar’s 3rd birthday party where they provided all the party food, ‘adult platters’, table setup and most importantly the clean-up.

All I did was give her our budget and a four word brief: The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I needed something that would work for both age groups and with the amount of time I had spent procrastinating getting inspiration on Pinterest  it seemed perfect!

Note: all the invitations, cake pops, cookies and amazing apple & worm birthday cake were very generously gifted-THANKYOU!!!

From a ‘Pin the nose on the Caterpillar’ game, to a ‘Caterpillar’ pinata, the most amazing birthday cake, cute little invites and lolly bags and cookies in the shape of all of the food that little caterpillar ate, here’s just a few pics of what she came up with:

Cake pops, cookies, cupcakes, rainbow cake oh my!

Cake pops, cookies, cupcakes, rainbow cake oh my!

Check out the cookies! Two rainbow cakes (left - from La Petite MIette) (right Party with Peggy), cupcakes and of course a pinata!

Check out the cookies! Two rainbow cakes (left – from La Petite Miette) (right Party with Peggy), cupcakes and of course a pinata!

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Clockwise from top left: 1 year-old Lewis, Oscar rockin his fairy wings with miss M, Oscar vs. the pinata, Awkard family pic #4245, Oscar is 5, party festivities and blowing out their birthday cake

Lewis is 1 and Oscar is 5!

And now for my very first GIVEAWAY all from Liv of Party with Peggy:

10 cake pops and 10 cookies in a theme of your choice to have at your next party! That also means you get a chance to meet and work with this amazing lady too!

Yes, darling Liv wants to spread the Party with Peggy love with you!

Here’s how:
1. LIKE Party with Peggy on FB
2. LIKE ‘mumma’sboys’mumma (the mummawoosah FB page) on FB
3.  In 25 words or less comment here and tell us which party theme you would choose for your (or your littlie’s next birthday party)
4. Bonus points for sharing this giveaway on your FB or Twitter profile-let us know if you do!

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  • Competition closes midnight Sunday 23 June 2013 AEST
  • Competition open to Canberra (and surrounds) residents only. (Sorry! Cake pops and cookies wouldn’t travel so well in the mail)
  • Prize cannot be substituted or exchanged for cash
  • Prize winner will  be selected by Liv of Party with Peggy Monday 24 June 2013 AEST
  • Prize valid for 12 months (so if you’ve already had your birthday this year, you can still get your Party with Peggy goodies next year)

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10 things not to say to a woman in labour

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Exactly one year ago today – this was me. True story, unabridged (ok ok this is the ‘clean version’ – but you can only get away with writing the F bomb (and worse)…. Happy first birthday my beautiful baby Lewis!!!

Note: this post first appeared on HerCanberra

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CHILDBIRTH. The one word that strikes fear in anyone – mumma or not. Yet, we often forget the silent partner, and in my case, the not-so-silent.

Having gone through this incredible experience twice (the first a water birth in the UK four years ago, the second-natural birth-five months ago), I thought I’d share the 10 things not to say to a woman in labour. And yes, the hubby knows I’ve written this to “forewarn any future partners of the possession that will come” (his words, not mine…gee I married such a charmer!)

So here they are (and yes this is really what he did say during the labour of baby boy #2)

Number 1:”Do you think it’s really happening this time? I don’t want to go to the hospital for no reason”

I DON’T KNOW! Yes, I admit I’d had a couple of false alarms (with both bubs), and was probably wishful thinking he would just come out already…but “for NO reason”?!

OK then buddy, you’re going to deliver this baby at home. By yourself. Do you think I like explaining to our anxiously waiting family and friends that “Nope, no baby…yet…false alarm, and yes, I may or may not have just peed myself.” Pregnancy. Such a wonderful thing.

So, into the car we get. No hubby, you will not have your chance to have a recorded 000 phonecall delivering your child. Yes, I am a partypooper and someone has been watching waaay too much TV.

Number 2:”Will I have time to get something to eat?”

(In labour for real this time and en-route to hospital) Yeah sure hubby, pull up a chair, relax, have a beer while you’re at it….

We get to the hospital.

Number 3:”Up the stairs we go. Walking’s meant to bring on labour right?”

I AM IN LABOUR!!!

Stopping halfway up the two flights, pauses:

Number 4:”Hang on a minute (grabbing the latest free Canberra Weekly and City News magazines), this may take a while…Oscar (our first child) took 15 ½ hours remember?”

REMEMBER?? How can I not? I PUSHED him out those 15 ½ hours! And I’m about to do the same now!! How long do you want this to take??

Finally make it up the stairs and into a room. Midwife confirms I am definitely in labour:

Number 5:”Guess it’s showtime then!” (claps his hands together).

Showtime?!?! Maybe for you! And you had better not be recording this!!!! He didn’t thank the Lord! No-one should ever have to relive this experience so up close and personal.Ever. And no, no-one wants to watch it to share that moment with you either. Ever.

Swiftly followed in the same breath by:

Number 6:”Do you think I’ll have enough time to grab myself something to eat, you know for energy. It can get quite tiring.”

I swear he asked that while the midwife was in the room so I didn’t slap him!!

“Sure” midwife replies, “this baby might be a while so let’s get your wife into the bath” I could’ve slapped her too! It was then that I had a sudden urge for chicken nuggets (as you do when you’re in labour)

Hubby’s ears prick up as I must’ve mouthed the words “Chicken nuggets” in my state of delirium.

Number 7: “You feel like chicken nuggets? Sure I’ll just go and pick some up..drive-thru baby and I’ll even eat mine in the car so it’s quicker…”

(Ducks out for a second and returns with the reception bell) “See, I’ve even grabbed you a bell for you just in case you need someone” then dashes back out again for I can’t even remember how long.

Yes people, he did….there I was in the birthing pool, solo, bell by my side, while hubby finally got his burger fix (luckily he did bring back my nuggets though as I was STARVING!)

After three more hours in the bath, I got out to check how far bubs had moved. He had. By one cm!?! One frikkin’ centimetre!?!? All that pushing and pain (and skin way beyond bath wrinkled) for ONE centimetre!!! GAHHHH!!! And the hubby, well here’s what he had to say about that:

Number 8:”Gee baby, what were you doing in the bath? Relaxing or something?”

ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?! I know you might’ve thought it was a joke but here’s THE most important rule, and partners take note – there is NOTHING to joke about when a woman is in labour. There is no funny side.

Finally in the last stages of pushing “Baby boy 2” out, and the hubby had been pretty good (in other words, quiet, handing me jellybeans, Lucozade, icecubes and lipgloss…yes, I know, crazy requests but it got me through) when

Number 9:”I thought second labours were meant to be faster, this baby sure is taking his time…OH.MY.GOD. (looking down) DON’T LOOK NOW. WHAT IS THAT!?!?!”

THAT dear hubby, is your son who (without getting too graphic) I am currently trying to push out of my vejayjay!!

That was it. The final straw. I lunged, grabbed his shirt, almost strangling him, screamed the most monstrous possessed wail…and out came baby boy #2-Lewis – 15 ½ hours after it all began, exactly the same amount of time as big boy #1-Oscar.

Hurrah! Joy!! What a relief!! Tears of joy from both of us…not even ten minutes old when:

Number 10:”I’m so exhausted, but he’s so worth it. Isn’t he just perfect? I could so do this again…maybe try again for a girl…”

Some men will never learn.

Did your partner utter any memorable words during your labors? Do share…

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Linking up with the ever-fabulous (sometime Dora hatin’….she gets to me too!) With Some Grace for Flog yo blog Friday

If your favourite childhood book was anything to go by….

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If your favourite childhood book was anything to go by....

Just replace ‘Alexander’ with ‘Maddy’ and this was so me today! And this was my favourite book as a kid?? Oh, the irony!! Who else’s Monday was like this?!?!?!?!

Slept over an hour through our alarm, first coffee wasn’t until almost FIVE hours after my usual time (FIVE HOURS!?!?!?!), work – bleh, WAS looking forward to getting back into Zumba (slowly!) tonight with a 90 minute zumbathon (who was I kidding?!) then checked my gym back and forgot my bottoms!?! Pantless Zumba, now THERE’s a sight NO-ONE wants to see!

But, in the end, good friends to the rescue (bringing in sweatpants!), fabulous work colleagues, a mother cup of coffee, a zumbathon (?!) and home to little boys fast asleep…yes, it’s the little things that really do count!

Tuesday, you’d better be good to me!!

Ahh yes, mummawoosah…

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Do you have a favourite childhood book? I’d love to know!

Top 10 Travel tips with kidlets

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 (aka how we survived the 36 hour door-to-door car/plane/plane/car trip)

With school holidays just about to start, some of you might be brave (or adventurous or just plain crazy!!) to take the kids somewhere. Plane, train or automobile, you’re gonna have to keep them occupied (and you sane!!) This was originally posted over on both the Facebook page and here on HerCanberra

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Now that we’ve been back from our EPIC first family-of-four journey to visit the grandparents in Nigeria (via Dubai) I’ve had a chance to think back and pull together the top 10 things that got us through (and what we learnt to do/never do again!)

Before we left, I asked  the “village” over on the Mumma’sBoysMumma Facebook page what their top tips were. I also picked up a few from a couple of fantastic travel blogs- Caz&Craig of Y Travel and Prue of Modern Nomads with Kids.

 MY TOP 10 TIPS

1.     Pack LIGHT and use a backpack

Handsfree, plenty of easy-to-reach pockets, also meant I could carry Lewis (then four months old) in the babyBjorn and gave me a free hand to hold Oscar (four years)…and his bag, and Fergus (the bear) and Jimmy (his monkey).

And remember -you can always buy things WHEN YOU GET THERE! (Lesson Learnt #1-you’d think I’d know by now!)

2.     Ziplock bags are my new best friend

Packing “an outfit into a bag” (including wipes and nappies) meant only having to grab ONE bag-perfect for car trips, flights and changing in those tiny plane toilets!

PREPACK all the “100mL or less” liquids and keep in one bag that’s handy (Lesson Learnt #2)

Reuse/pack extra ziplock bags – great for separating baby socks/bibs/chargers/toiletries and perfect size spew catcher (Lesson Learnt #3)

3.     Keep them busy

But you  don’t need to bring enough for a classroom! (Lesson Learnt #4)

From activity books and crayons, a game of “I spy” or “Can you count how many….”(not the best during a night flight), and in our case, an iPod Touch and his own screen on-flight (thanks Emirates!), take some portable entertainment.

But pack a MAX of three things (trust me, you’ll end up carrying them anyway!) and get your kids to pack them into their own backpacks (and NOT a rollaway – Lesson Learnt #5). As cute as it is to see a little kid wheeling them around, do you know how frikkin’ annoying it is to lug around?!

4.     Take your time and expect delays

This one from Modern Nomads with Kids.

We factored in a three hour cartrip even BEFORE we got to the airport: pit-stops, checking-in, dinner, feeds, changes,tantrums (repeat). A more relaxed you means more relaxed kidlet (in theory, at least!) In practice (and Lesson Learnt #6), there may have been a few meltdowns, but at least there was plenty of time to do so!

5.     Plan ahead (where you can)

Visas? Passports? Travel immunisations? Accommodation? Attractions? Do your homework and prepay where you can. We had the amazing opportunity to spend four days’ stopover in Dubai on the way home and prebooked a tour to go up Burj Khalifa – so glad we did because spaces book fast!

6.     Book night flights if you can

Definitely helped us! Took a bit of settling (the four-year old, would you believe?!?) but once dinner was done and lights were off, so was he! The little man, honestly I don’t know where we got him, but three out of four flights sleeping pretty much the whole way? I was one very happy mumma. Lollies (also serve as bribery tools), soft toys and feeding (of any kind!) and  even “Count how many…” are all definitely great distractions during take-off and landing.

7.     Get some shut-eye (if you can!)

As tempting as it is to catch up on FOUR years worth of missed films – you need to recharge as well! Even if it is to keep up with the kidlets when they wake up  (Lesson Learnt #7) – in between meltdowns and in transit…

8.     Improvise and be flexible

I know, easier said than done, but when you’re away from home, you sometimes just have to make do. Forgot the baby carrier? Use a cloth and turn it into a sling – or in my case, learn to piggyback Nigeria style (Lesson Learnt #8)

9.     Remember you were a kid once too!

This is one from Y Travel – I love this one! Remember when five minutes felt like an eternity, and anyone and everything new and unfamiliar needs to be pointed out…loudly (Lesson Learnt #9)

“Yes Oscar, some men do wear dresses, no he’s not getting married and no that is not a tea towel on his head…people from different countries wear different outfits…yes, Oscar a bit like dress ups.” Just go with it…

10.  Finally, (and my favourite) SNAP HAPPY! (happy optional)

Or better yet, if the kidlet is old enough, give him the camera! Oscar had his iPod touch, which kept him distracted and captured the stress (I mean the memories J) of the journey.

And if all else fails, mummas and papas, have a glass of vino (or two)… Smile, just keep walking, and if he’s far away enough, pretend he’s not yours…I’m KIDDING!!!

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Got any more tips folks? I’d love to know! 

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MEET The FamilyWoosah (aka the O team) in a rare calm family pic while out for dinner in Bur Dubai

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Teaming up with a ‘hair-raising Grace for FlogyoblogFriday