Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Rainbow Skirt

I’ve had so many comments or emails asking about the skirt my daughter was wearing in the Mooo Giveaway photos that I thought I should just dedicate a post to the story of the rainbow skirt.

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It was her first fashion lust.  We were looking for a skirt to wear with tights and boots, and I found a nice corduroy layered skirt at a good price in Myer that did the job nicely.  Of course as it was mid-winter, the new summer stock was just arriving on the shelves and she fell head over heels in love with the light weight, colourful, swishy skirt.  I understood the attraction as it was a gorgeous skirt, but she really didn’t need it and I don’t want my kids to think that they can always have something just because they like it.  Especially at full price!  (LOL)  So she reluctantly agreed to try on the sensible winter skirt instead and I talked her into it.  I also said that we could see if the other skirt came on sale some time.

From that day on, every time we went to the shops she would ask if we needed to go to Myer.  And every time she would seek out the rainbow skirt and check the tag to see if it was on sale.  She would touch the layers of fabric and I just knew she was imagining herself in the swirly colours.  Really, I could have bought it for her there and then, but I was teaching something important.  We must have checked those skirts half a dozen times, and even I was beginning to wonder if they’d sell out before they were reduced!

She had been such a good sport about waiting for her skirt that I decided I had better go and get one and put it aside for her as a present.  And wouldn’t you know it?  That very day her rainbow skirt was on the front page of the Myer catalogue, drastically reduced.  I threw the kids in the car and we went straight there.  We didn’t wander slowly in… oh no.  I pushed the stroller at light speed and dragged my toddler straight to the children’s department.  Before my daughter could even say, “Mummy please can we check to see if my skirt is on sale…?” I had one in my hot little hand.  Her jaw nearly hit the floor.

She didn’t get it immediately.  We had already made a star chart to encourage her to stay in bed til 6:30am as she had been getting up particularly early.  I don’t usually go for big rewards, but this was perfect timing.  I hung the skirt up in her room, and she had to stay in her bed til 6:30am for TEN sleeps to finish the star chart and take down her rainbow skirt.  She was so very proud of herself when she could take down her skirt, and I think she wore it for a week straight.

Lessons she learnt:

  1. Just because you like it, doesn’t mean you get it.
  2. Good things come to those who wait.
  3. It feels great to work for something and earn it.

Lessons I learnt:

  1. Practical skirt = 5 wears
  2. Rainbow skirt = 50+ wears
  3. Sometimes it’s ok to be frivolous.

PS – you’ve still got til Sunday to enter my Mooo giveaway and win a $50 voucher.  But no, the skirt is not for sale…

Body Image Guest Post

Though we have never met, the lovely Narelle Nettelbeck from WA is a great support to me as a fellow Christian mother, writer and blogger.  For the next two weeks Narelle will be featuring Aussie Christian mums in interviews and guest posts on her blog Moments For Mum.  She has some amazing women lined up, and I’m privileged to be her first invited guest.

You can read my interview with Narelle here.

If you’re up for something slightly heavier, you might also like my guest post on body image.  (It’s an easy read, I promise!  But it does talk about Bible verses and God and stuff, ok?)  Here’s a snippet…

Your body was given to you by God, and He designed it to do some particular jobs. Like grow small humans inside of you, and then feed them from your own self, and carry them around. You know what that requires? It requires you to have a stomach, and hips, and thighs, and breasts, and arms. It’s ok to have those bits. You’re supposed to have those bits. And it’s ok if in the process of having children those bits have become squishy, wobbly, wrinkly, flabby, deflated, or saggy. They might be bigger or smaller than they were before, and that’s ok too!

I’d love you to jump over to Moments For Mum and read the rest of the article.  And I know Narelle would love your comments as much as I would.

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Amazing Mooo Giveaway!

Winner Announced!

mooo_winAnd the random winner is… Comment #32 – Sharon Ward!  Happy shopping Sharon.  I hope whatever you choose from Mooo helps to make your new house homely for the kids.  And for everyone else, make sure you sign up for Club Mooo to take advantage of other specials and discounts.  Thank you so much for participating in this giveaway.  I’m so proud to have such a fabulous, loyal, Aussie readership.  Blessings, Cath. xx

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Ok, I’ll say it up front.  The guys at Mooo have been generous to me.  Not only did they send a big box of samples of their top notch products (some of which they even personalised for my kids) but they also gave me a voucher to spend in their online store!  Of course, I said I’d rather pass the voucher on to my readers – but they insisted I do some shopping AND offered an additional voucher for a lucky SquiggleMum reader!  As I said, they’ve been generous.

Here are my daughter’s three favourites from Mooo:

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1.  Personalised butterfly t-shirt

Her little face lit up when she read her own name on the shirt!  I was so impressed with the quality.  Good thick fabric, well stitched, perfect printing.  I love the attention to detail too, like the subtle Mooo imprint on the back of the neckline.  Worth every bit of the $25 and would make a great gift.  Lots of styles and colours to choose from.  Oh, and FYI sizes are slightly generous.

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2.  Personalised Wall Canvas Art

How sweet is this?  I like the simple design and clear text.  The canvas isn’t oversized so it’s perfect for a child’s bedroom.  Again, it’s really well made and neatly finished.  Choose from stylish initials, a range of funky prints or even a silhouette of your child.

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3.  Personalised Pencil Case

We {heart} this birdsong design.  You can also get it on a range of other items like backpacks, library bags, lunchbags and more.  It’s a great size for older kids as it will easily take a calculator, scissors, glue, pencils and pens.  We’re actually going to use it for a few “emergency items” in the kindy bag!

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So, the question is… what would YOU like to buy?!  I have a $50 voucher to give away!  To be in the running, pop over to Mooo, do a little window shopping, then leave a comment telling me what you’d spend the voucher on.  (Of course, I won’t hold you to it if you win…)  My giveaway is open to Aussie residents and a winner will be randomly chosen on Sunday 31st Jan, 6pm Qld time.

PS – if you’re an overseas reader head over to Childhood 101.  Christie has a Mooo giveaway too and she’ll send worldwide…

Painted Love

My daughter seems to have had another spurt in her drawing and painting ability lately.  Little drawings of people with round tummies, funny shaped heads, stick arms and legs, and happy faces keep popping up all over the place!  The other day she asked to do some painting while her brother was asleep, so I set her up with paints and brushes and let her go for it (while I, ahem, caught up on emails).

When she called me over to show me her work I was so surprised!

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There is so much going on here that wasn’t happening three months ago when I last posted about her paintings.  For starters she’s used brushes to paint with instead of fingers.  The painting clearly depicts two people, with lots of detail (like the dangly blue earrings) and facial features.  And she’s used such great colours!  But best of all, when I asked if she was thinking about anyone in particular while painting she said, “Mummy, it’s you and Daddy!  And you’re holding hands, because you love each other.

As if I wasn’t crazy about the painting already!  Now it’s a keeper.  In spite of all we deal with in our family, if our kids have a sense of reassurance that Mummy and Daddy are a loving team – we must be doing something right.

Garden In A Week

A weedy, gravelly mess of garden bed has been sitting near my clothesline for a very long time, just waiting for some kids to give it a little love.  Last week was the week!  There was no need to rush, and the kids enjoyed spreading the project out over a few days.  Besides – in the heat of summer it’s hard to stay in the yard for too long.  Here’s how you and your kids can have fun transforming a section of your garden in under a week, including a craft activity and an outing!

Day 1 – Digging

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We had to enlist SquiggleDad’s help for this as there were some tangled old roots that required digging out.  Both kids enjoyed helping Daddy with their little garden tools.  We sang songs like, “Dig, dig, dig like a wombat” and “I take my shovel and I dig, dig, dig…” as we worked.  (Well, the kids and I sang and Daddy laughed at us!)

Day 2 – New Soil

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I try to remember to use the term “soil” rather than “dirt”.  We compared the soil that was in the existing garden bed with the new bags of soil.  We talked about worms, and nutrients, and what plants need to be healthy and strong.  The kids spread the new soil out evenly, and one even thought he might have a little taste…

Day 3 – Nursery Trip

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We let Little Miss 3 choose the plants she wanted for the garden.  Apart from pumpkin (which we said no to) her choices were very good!  She picked lettuces for salad, strawberries for yummy treats and basil, cherry tomato and capsicum for making pizzas.  I think spending time in Nanna’s garden, and watching Dirt Girl on ABC Kids steered her towards these edible choices.  (Read more about our trip to the nursery here.)

Day 4 – Planting

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We talked about which plants would grow tall and be better at the back of the garden bed, and which ones should be near the front.  I showed my daughter how to remove the plants from their punnets, taking care not to break the stalk or damage the roots.  We dug little holes for them and firmly planted them in.  Then it was time for their first watering.  My son mostly watered his own feet!

Day 5 – Mulching

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Spreading sugar cane mulch out around the plants was a simple job and the kids completed the task pretty much independently.  My son buried a few plants under mulch, but we uncovered them and gave them all another good water.

Day 6 – Plant Signs

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To make signs for our plants I picked up some inexpensive mdf coasters and a piece of dowel from a craft shop.  The whole lot was less than $5.  I put a piece of masking tape in the centre of each coaster to leave room for writing the corresponding plant name, and then let my daughter paint away.  She chose colours to match each plant (red for strawberries, yellow for capsicum, etc) which I thought was fabulous.  When dry, we glued a piece of dowel to the back, removed the tape and wrote the plant name on the front.  They won’t last forever, but neither will the plants so I’m ok with that.

Day 7 – Decorating

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We added a few finishing touches to the garden, like this cool outdoor sculpture of a girl, and a sign saying “Kids’ Garden – no grownups allowed”.  This space is for my children and I’m happy for them to decorate it however they’d like to.  Though I must say I’m not fussed on gnomes…!

Off To Kindy! (Parenting Aus)

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One week and counting!!  My daughter is marking off the sleeps til she starts kindy.  At three and a half she’s a lovely combination of still being little at times, and oh-so-big at other times.  She’s a pretty independent kid and I’m sure she’s ready for kindy.  I just don’t know if kindy is ready for her…!

You can read my post about her starting kindy over at Parenting Australia today.  Feel free to comment here or over there.  (I’ve just been waiting for an excuse to post this photo!!)

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PS – thanks everyone for your emails and your comments both on my blog and on my husband Damon’s following yesterday’s post on depression.  We are grateful for your support.  Cath xx

When Daddy has Depression

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My husband is an amazing guy and I love him more now than I did when we got married nearly ten years ago.  He is a wonderful father who is completely adored by both of our children.  He’s a respected and very talented programmer with an impressive resume.

But he’s also a guy who battles depression.

Today he is bravely sharing his story on his blog at Distractable and I’m so proud of him for writing about it.  He likens his ongoing struggles with depression to walking life in thongs (flip-flops if you’re not Australian…!)  And when the pace and stress of life ramp up, it’s like running in thongs on sand, or running up an escalator.  He gets tired, and he trips up.  I’d love you to read his story here.

Depression is probably a beast we will always battle, but we fight it together.  I don’t always get it right, but I promised him “for better or worse… in sickness and in health” and I meant it with all my heart.  Thank you to all the women both online and in real life who support me through the dark days each time those familiar clouds gather.  You know who you are.  xx

PS – if anyone else out there has a hubby with depression I’d love to pray for you and support you.  Please use my contact form if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment.  Cath.

Slimming Season

January might as well be called Slimming Season.  Marketing campaigns for dieting companies and products go into overdrive, cashing in on our holiday guilt.  I for one feel NO guilt about enjoying special foods at Christmas or about taking the pressure off myself in the kitchen during the holidays.  This doesn’t mean my daughter is immune from the marketing messages though.  “New year, new you” type campaigns are all over the tv, and meal replacement bars and shakes are in the supermarket aisles!!

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This week we borrowed “Rosie – the Cow Who Wanted to Slim” from the library by Christel Desmoinaux.  What a timely book and wonderful way to combat the current media assault without making too much of a big deal about it all.  Rosie is a gorgeous cow with plump pink udders.  She makes good milk which makes good cakes and life is good.  That is, until she reads Moo Monthly and discovers she’s a little, well, heavier than the covergirls covercows.  Her highly successful slimming campaign results in a svelte figure, but at the cost of her milk. I think there’s a message in that for mums and daughters, don’t you think?

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If you’ve got older girls in your family, this would be an excellent book for a big sister, older cousin or young aunty to read to your daughter.  Our girls need to hear the real truth about body image, and they need to hear it more loudly and more clearly than the messages they get from the media.

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PS – if this is a topic that concerns you, check out Julie’s blog over at Beautiful You.

Confession: Prangs & Pride

car_tow_collI don’t share everything that happens here on this blog, but there was a little incident while I was on leave and I feel like I’m keeping a secret by not telling you all!  So, here’s the story.  Well, part of it.  It’s a long story* so I’ll just give you the important bits.

I parked my car in a shopping centre carpark and got out.

I decided to move the car back a little* so got back in.

I changed my mind while reversing and figured I should just get another park.

The door was still open.

I was parked beside a pole.

The door made a very loud crunching sound as it collided with said pole.

I’m not sure which was more crushed.  My pride or the car door.  Who reverses with the door open?  I mean, really?!  I’m a smart girl.  Smart girls don’t do dumb things like that.  I guess everyone does dumb things sometimes.

The door was so badly damaged that I couldn’t shut it, and therefore couldn’t drive the car.  But I couldn’t leave it either, with the door wide open!  To make things more complicated I had my 15mth old son with me.  I really didn’t know what to do.  I think I cried.  I hardly ever cry.  And then I rang my husband.  I needed help.

My hubby wasn’t cross even a tiny bit.  He excused himself from a meeting and drove to where we were.  I had water and snacks in the nappy bag thankfully, so the wait in the car wasn’t too bad.  It was only about 45 minutes before he arrived on his white horse in his white ute to rescue me.  I was embarrassed and flustered, but he was so cool.  He got the car out of the carpark (somehow!) and organised for it to be towed.  He handled the insurance calls, and spoke to our smash repairer who happens to be a friend and could get things moving quickly for us.  And all the time, he reassured me that it wasn’t a big deal.  He even joked that at least I picked the right door, because that one already had a small ding in it!

The prang wasn’t good for my ego, but in a funny way it was good for our marriage.  I’m not a very needy person.  I’m capable and independent and can take care of things myself.  But you know what?  Not needing others just isolates you.  It was good for me to need rescuing.  And I picked a great guy for the job.  Thanks Honey. xx

(Sorry the images aren’t great… best I could do from my iphone on a very stressy day!)

New Year: Same Old Me (Parenting Aus)

IMG_7901-300x225As a full time SAHM I find the start of each new year a really challenging time.  I’m sharing my very honest thoughts about it over at Parenting Australia today, along with a conversation with my own self.  Please, someone reassure me that I’m not the only mama on the planet who doesn’t just talk to herself but also answers herself back…?!  Here’s a snippet of me talking to me.

Me: Everyone has something new and exciting this year except me. My amazing husband has amazing work opportunities because, well, he’s amazing. My daughter is going to kindy, which everyone knows is one of the most amazing places in the world. And everything is amazing to my son because he’s 15 months old.

Me: Woe is you.

Me: Yes, woe is me. Nothing amazing here. Same old me sweeping the same old mess off the same old floors with the same old broom.

Me: You could get a new broom.

Me: That’s ridiculous.

Me: No it’s not…

Head to Parenting Australia for the conclusion of my conversation with myself and the rest of my article.  Anyone suggest where I can get a swanky new broom…?

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