Friday, September 28, 2012

How to make your own crayon shapes

I've been getting in to the whole arts and crafts thing a lot more lately as Tricks has shown he's quite a crafty little bugger. By that I mean he likes to scribble with crayons, make splodges with paint and stick things with glue. General toddler stuff here, as much as his grandparents think otherwise, he ain't no prodigy.

He has fun, does all that fine motor whatsits at the same time and I get some time in the day that isn't filled with car, truck and train noises. Win, win!

When I was mid-giant clean out and desperate for another form of procrastination project, I found a stack of left over crayons I'd used for an earlier crayon art project and decided to get busy and create Lego Crayons!

Tricky loves them but right now he prefers to play with them rather than draw and gets a bit cranky that they don't stack like normal Lego blocks.

I used Crayola crayons for this lot and cheaper crayons for a second batch I made and the difference was huge. It became really obvious that the cheaper variety had a lot of clear wax which all rose to the top leaving the pigmented wax at the bottom. The resulting ombre colour effect looked cool but the consistency was terrible.

These would be great as a stocking filler for that C-word day in December and even better as a goodie bag after a Lego themed party.

And before you ask, the moulds were from eBay.

Are you arty farty?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

When a city girl goes to the country

I was really looking forward to our holiday. I was practically frothing at the mouth with excitement because, hello, wineries. Oh and all that family bonding time away from social media and whatnot.

Map Guy planned it all and if the whole cartography thing ever falls through I'm sure he could rock it as a travel agent or tour guide. Apart from the infographic, we had daily maps and directions with a list of activities to do every day. It wasn't a "you must do this", more an idea of what was available. We ended up doing most of his suggestions because they were bloody good and involved a lot of trains for the short train-obsessed blond kid in our group.

He also booked all the accommodation. First up was a gorgeous farm stay in Harvey overlooking the valley and the dam, where Tricky and I got to feed all the animals. Serious father brownie points for that one.

This was also the time when we went to a local winery to find wine that was two weeks past it's use by date (really, they have use by dates?) being sold at $1 a litre. That is not a typo, friends. I was in wine heaven and bought a dozen to divvy up.

Then we got to the next location, our base for the next four days, and it was amazing. A 1950s mill town turned in to a holiday village, with kangaroos and emus all around. They were kinda cute until we realized they were incredibly used to humans and would hunt you down for food.

We bought the special kangaroo mix to feed them with... turns out not only do they have insanely sharp claws but they remember who had the food. Those bastards followed me around trying to get in to my bag for the rest of the trip and completely ignored MG and Tricks. Twice they got in the back door while I was getting firewood (because I'm an idiot and left the door open).

And don't get me started on the emus. There were about four or five all together and amongst them were two males that were walking around with eight chicks between them. Talk about your overprotective dads! A few times they had a go at the kangaroos around us and they'd come towards me quite menacingly - given that emus look pretty menacing most of the time this didn't surprise me. They scare the crap out of me in a "haven't-forgotten-they're-related-to-dinosaurs" way.

Map Guy will tell you differently. He will tell you they ignored him completely so I can only assume that they somehow knew I'd eaten emu before, could smell my fear or had a personal vendetta against me. One of the bastards even tried to get in to our cottage. Remember that scene in Jurassic Park where the raptors learn to open doors? THAT! That is what I'm afraid of!

On a side note, do you know what you do when a kangaroo and an emu try to get in your cottage and you're freaking out? Take a blurry photo then run like fuck screaming for your husband.

Nestled in to the middle of nowhere, the old houses were so quaint with all the original features including an ancient wood stove. There was also an electric stove in the corner for city folk like me which was great or we'd have been eating cereal and fruit the whole time. There was no TV, a handful of streetlights, a dozen other people in the whole village and our nights were spent sitting by the fire, drinking wine and spelling out corny things playing scrabble (I won four out of five matches). It was bliss and we were in bed most nights by 10:00pm. Ragers.

The cottage also had it's original plumbing meaning a solid ancient bathtub and outhouse. Yes. Outhouse. At first I thought "oh how quaint" and then the reality of wild animals and redback spiders hit me and I nearly died.

I know, I can hear you all telling this princess to toughen up. But I'd like to remind you that despite the fact that it was spring, when you're that deep in the forest, it dips below freezing over night, and, oh that's right THERE WERE FUCKING DOOR OPENING EMUS AFTER ME.

I'm not ashamed to say I invented my own outhouse rules. If it's after dark, freezing cold, there are emus after you and you're incredibly pissed on $1 wine, then you're allowed to pee in the bath.

On one of our day trips out from the cottage we went to a Lavender and Berry farm because we'd heard they have awesome pancakes (they do) and some animals that Tricks could feed.

Well, the little dude was more interested in their playground (we did ten playgrounds in eight days - more daddy brownie points there!) so I attempted to. I went to feed the alpaca and freaked out it's insane devil eyes. Did you know alpacas have rectangular pupils? Apparently it took offense at me saying that, because this happened:

That was also how I found out I'm allergic to alpaca saliva. Who'd of thunk it?

We couldn't not stop by the Donnybrook Apple Fun Park - the largest free entry playground in the country. Of course Tricky didn't want to go on the normal sized slides and instead embraced his inner dare devil and climbed to the top of the three story slide (with poor Map Guy following after). Normal slides are for pussies.

A visit to the Valley of the Giants saw acrophobic Map Guy impress us all by doing the treetop walk and even attempting the Bicentennial Tree... as did Tricky who cracked the shits, his cries echoing through the whole forest, when we wouldn't let him go any higher than the fourth rung. Did I mention dare devil?

We wrapped up the holiday in comfort at the in-laws' in Albany. We ate doughnuts, saw whales but best of all the child was constantly entertained, our meals were cooked, our washing was done and there was, above all else, an inside loo.

Do you have outhouse rules? Ever been chased by a wild animal? Allergic to anything weird?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I met Liz Davenport and all I got was this signed copy of her book to giveaway

Georgia from Parental Parody called me the other day: "Yo, so what are you doing tomorrow night? Wanna come to Liz Davenport's book launch? She emailed me an invite. SHE emailed ME!"

I think she may have fainted at that point because the line went quiet.

There was just one problem with being Georgia's plus size plus one: WHAT THE FUCK DO I WEAR TO A DESIGNER'S BOOK LAUNCH DURING THE PERTH FASHION FESTIVAL!?!?"

A little hyperventilating was in order. And some wine.

I decided on the whole black is slimming thing knowing I'd be surrounded by models, then slapped myself upside the head because who the hell wears all black to the launch of a book called "Liz: A life of colour"? The woman is known for her colourful creations and I'm sure doing my Morticia Addams impersonation would have been met with pitiful stares from the fashion-elite in the room.

I ended up wearing a purple dress and my sister-in-law's rockin' blingy purple heels. And gigantic Bridget Jones iron underwear too, but that goes without saying.

I had no idea what to expect. I've never been to anything fashion related before as I'm more likely to be found going through the bargain rack at Tarrrrzjay. I imagined the canapes going uneaten, the champagne flowing and a whole stack of models that upon turning sideways would fall through a crack in the floor. But I couldn't have been more wrong. Except for the champers bit, thankfully.

Nevertheless, I didn't let Georgia leave my side. Doesn't she look so happy about that?

I still felt terribly out of place though... until Liz started talking and I realized she was an amazing, talented, funny and down to earth Perth chick with a passion for the environment and Indigenous culture.

The woman is awesome. She's won so many awards, including Australia's top designer, has had international success, has an Order of Australia, has run for parliament, raised three gorgeous kids and advocates for REAL sizes.
“The ‘average’ woman may spend her earlier years as a proportional size 10 or 12, but may well put on weight at the hips and waist but not at the shoulders as she matures. Too often the jacket fits, but not the skirt or pants

Despite what most designers appear to do, once you hit size 14 you simply cannot just add a few more centimetres here and there and expect the look to work. It won’t. There are an awful lot of women who have been short changed in the design department.”
A selection of her designs from the last three decades were on show, including the Australian flag cape worn by Miss Australia at the Miss World parade in 1979. I had to use every ounce of willpower not to tackle the model to the ground and steal it off her. And OMG the colour!

I made Georgia introduce me afterwards by refusing to stop poking her in the ribs until she submitted. It may have been my liquid bravery, but when she seemed pleased that we were blogging it I said:

"You know what would make it a better blog post, Liz?" (could I be any ruder?)

"A photo?"


So we cuddled together and took a couple of selfies and I went all fan-girl knowing I'd just snuggled an Australian icon.

And then her lovely marketing manager sent me a signed copy of her book to giveaway! 

If you'd like to win it, all you have to do is ENTER HERE through the Facebook app. You can enter daily if you're keen!

You can buy "Liz: A life of colour" here for $55.00

What do you think of Liz's re-proportioned and realistic sizing of designer fashion? Do you think more designers should follow suit?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Help! I don't want to lose my Feedburner subscribers!

Can you hear that? It's the collective sound of bloggers all around the world pulling their hair out trying to figure out what the hell is going on with Feedburner.

If you've logged in to yours in the last few days you'll see your subscribers are at 0. Or BIG FAT ZERO NO FRIENDS as I've dubbed it.

I have no idea what is happening because for every article I read about it there is another one with opposite information. It's doing my head in. Is it going to be shut down completely? Will it just not be updated? Is it just the API being discontinued? What does API even meeeeaaaaaaan?

Mostly what I can hear are the mournful screams "WHERE HAVE ALL MY SUBSCRIBERS GONE?"

Relax. Despite the BIG FAT ZERO NO FRIENDS thing, the details of the people who subscribed by email are still there. But I have no idea how long they'll be there for so I'd suggest you go backup your email subscribers now.

How to backup your Feedburner email subscription 
Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

Save that CSV file somewhere safe! When you open it (with excel or similar) you'll see it's the email addresses of your lovely subscribers that you can now port over to whichever service you choose to use. Or email them to tell them you've stopped hyperventilating.

Even if this whole thing settles down, your numbers come back and the collective trichotillomania ceases, having a backup isn't a bad thing.

Are you freaking out?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bindii is a bitch

I am, without a doubt, a brown thumb. When I love and care for a plant it thrives... it's just that after a few weeks I lose interest and, well, everything dies. Or the weeds take over. Again.

Map Guy and I have this vision of growing our own food, maybe even having some chickens. He's even planted seeds before and enjoyed watching them sprout before becoming distracted and they ended up being strangled by weeds. Turns out the lose-interest-everything-dies thing isn't confined to the women in this house.

I sprayed the yard to kill the weeds a few weeks ago (you can send your angry "you're killing the planet with chemicals" email to me at and then spent this afternoon on my hands and knees pulling them out of our back lawn. Bindii is a bitch. Not to be confused with Bindi, who I'm sure is quite lovely when you get past the unnatural happiness she radiates.

I'd clear an area and move on, only to look back and see five more of those little fuckers that I swear weren't there before. After a few hours my hands covered in vicious Bindii injuries (because I wasn't clever enough to get gloves first) and my back was in spasms. Which I'm convinced means I now have tetanus and will soon die a protracted and rather painful death.

I had managed to pull most of the prickles between the pavers and the trampoline - prime bare foot toddler real estate and therefore the top priority lest I spend the whole summer shouting "TRICKY, PUT YOUR DAMN SHOES ON!". But that area is only about one tenth out of our whole gigantic, weed riddled backyard meaning the urge to drink a bottle of weed killer rather than face the rest of those prickly green buggers was rising.

I've heard so many people say that pulling weeds is therapeutic but to me that sounds like complete bollocks (I did however find the glass of chardonnay I skolled afterwards much more therapeutic).

On surveying the rest of the Bindii riddled lawn and it was all I could do to not to put a match to it and watch those bastards burn. I have it on good authority that Bindii is the number one cause of suicide in Australia. I can see why.

Do you enjoy gardening? Do you find weeding therapeutic? You're quite welcome to come to my house for some free therapy. Because I'm giving like that.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I got trolled and all I got was this feature in CLEO

The list of things Miranda Kerr and I have in common is growing. Exponentially it would seem. We've both married hot dudes, popped out a kid and breastfed it, we're both naturally brunette, um, we're both women, err, we're both Australian. OK so it's a pretty short list of the clutching at straws variety. But now I can add that we're both in this month's CLEO magazine.

Image: CLEO
She's on the cover. I'm on page 75. WE'RE PRACTICALLY TWINS!

You know how I hate it when people spell out acronyms? Well I'm gonna break my own rule here and say this:




Image: CLEO
Yours truly is mentioned in an article about how to deal with online trolls. The article, as you can see with the little pink haired dude above (remember them?), is called "I stood up to my troll", and references my first proper Twitter troll who I managed to track down by going all CSI on his ass.
Image: CLEO
I know I should be all aloof and shit and make people believe that this is nothing, but if I'm honest, which is kinda the whole point of this here blog, I'm as happy as a chick with carbs, which is apt because I am a chick who is carb loading by inhaling vast quantities of choc macadamia cookies. How else would I celebrate seeing my name, my real name, in a national magazine?
Image: CLEO
The article is a bit longer than that and has a few different ways of dealing with trolls. My section contains an F bomb, albeit with a strategically placed asterisk, though this time it's not my potty mouth, it was the troll. If you're bored at the checkouts you should totally read it.

Now please excuse me while I go update my media kit with "as featured in CLEO". Do you think it's too much to get it printed on a t-shirt?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Party! The Ultimate Kids' Birthday Party Book Giveaway

I have always loved cake books and party books. Since the I-must-make-my-kid-an-awesome-birthday-cake gene switched on (not to mention the I-must-make-naughty-cakes gene) I've been devouring them.

Under the whole you break it, you bought it rule, I own quite a few. It's something to do with the fact that when I pick them up in the shop, I just start drooling all over them.

I was sent a copy of Party! The Ultimate Kids' Birthday Party Book from Pan MacMillan and it's now ruined. Too much drool. Ahhh bugger. Perhaps I should wear a bib from now on? Or cover them all with contact before hand?

Party! The Ultimate Kids Party Book

It is impossible to look at this book and not feel inspired. Ten awesome themes for all ages translates to pages upon pages of awesome party themes - not just cakes! It includes everything from the games to play, the decorations, the invites and the party food too.

Party! The Ultimate Kids Party Book

My favourite part though, without doubt, is that it's all really hands on, do-it-yourself and budget friendly. There's no buy seventeen metres of bunting, hire a clown and a petting zoo crap. It's cardboard boxes, scrap material and a trip to the $2 shop combined to make a memorable party.

Party! The Ultimate Kids Party Book

Whether you want your kid to have an amazing theme party because they'll love it, or because you want the other mums to be a bit jealous (oh COME ON, you know that's part of it), and don't want to spend a fortune, then this is the book for you.

I have four drool-free copies to give away, hooray!

To enter, be a follower of Where's My Glow and fill out the entry form below. For more chances to win, enter through the Facebook app too - you'll get bonus entries for sharing the love!

This is not a sponsored post, but I did receive a complimentary copy of the book from Pan Macmillan- I wonder if they'll send me another one that isn't covered in drool? Full Ts and Cs here.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Craps, Caps & Chocolat… Holidays En France

It's Friday! This means I'll be in Albany and chilling out at my inlaws' house. Now it's either completely shit house timing or a sign that we're terrible company, but a heap of our Albany friends are in Perth this weekend... did they wait until they knew we were coming?!

Anywho, the delightful Catherine is the next guest poster. She knows a few French words. So do I. Except mine are all from that Lady Marmalade song. Vive le France!
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I grew up in the south east of England… (shhhsh Essex) home to rolling green fields and ancient hedgerows, quaint little pubs, winding country lanes and er… the Lakeside shopping centre. I suppose it would be fair to say we enjoyed a typical middle class lifestyle; two cars, Chinese take-aways and an annual family holiday… abroad.

Due to its convenient location, just a hop skip and jump across the English Channel, we often visited France. We would drive to Dover, board a ferry for a short (albeit choppy) crossing to Calais and then merrily drive on to our destination. If we were holidaying in the North we would plod on until we got there, but if we ventured further South we would break the journey staying the night in various hotels along the way.

I wasn’t terribly keen on the ‘road trip’ element of the holiday. I suffered dreadful travel sickness and despite trialling a variety of antidotes, invariably ended up vomiting into a polythene bag. Such happy times.

When I started learning French at school my parents encouraged me to speak up and practice, I would stumble over the words embarrassed and self conscious, probably getting it all wrong, but having a go anyway. I don’t remember much French at all now. Just the really important stuff like…

“J’ai voudrais un glace au chocolat*’’…


“Ou est le plage**?”

I have so many memories of our holidays in France… we ate chocolate crêpes in Arles at the very same Café Van Gough captured forever under a starry, starry night. We strolled along the promenade in Niece. We climbed to the top of the Eiffel tower (we didn’t really, we got the lift… have you seen the Eiffel tower?). We traveled down the Seine passed Notre Dame and took a tour of Monet’s house.

Cafe Terrace at Night

Of all our holidays in France the trip that stands out most was the week that we spent at La Petite Maison Blanche. It wasn’t the best holiday and it certainly wasn’t the worst… nothing remarkable happened and it rained… every… single…day. But we were together. Just hanging out. Enjoying a glass of wine (my father very much embracing the philosophy... when in Rome… (or in this case… ‘when in France’) and playing endless games of gin rummy.

We visited a town called Ginggump… just because it had an amusing name… Ginggump? No? Just me then… I insisted that I needed a traditional fisherman’s cap and spent the rest of the holiday wearing it with the sort of pride I now reserve for Chanel. I fell face first into a sand dune (much to the amusement of my younger sister) and we even had snails for dinner. Ok, Dad had snails for dinner… I had a cheese omelette…and it was delicious!

Ooh la la!
Now that I live in Australia trips to Europe with my little family will be slightly harder to arrange. But I know that one day my daughters will tread those same steps, stumble over the pronunciation of ‘crêpes’ (hint. It’s not ‘craps’), enjoy French food and have a très jolly time indeed. Although, if I’m totally honest, I could do without the Fisherman’s hat next time round.

* I would like a chocolate ice cream
** Where is the beach?
. . . ___ . . . ___ . . .

Catherine Rodie Blagg Lives in Sydney with her husband and two small daughters. In her free time she blogs at Cup of Tea and a Blog about the challenges of modern motherhood. She can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. She drinks an alarming amount of tea.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Travel fails and awesome stories are one and the same

Hey hey! So today I'm supposed to be in Bridgetown. If there isn't a bridge there I will be mighty pissed off.

Next up for the guest posts is Bree who will regale us with stories of criminals and condoms.
. . . ___ . . . ___ . . .

I've travelled a lot. 16 countries and counting and if there is one thing I've learned, it's that memories of hard travel times fade and often become the best stories post-trauma, I mean post-trip!

I remember travelling through Paris and being stalked by a snivelling teen who was intent on picking my pocket. Several times, I looked at him and gave him my "I know what you're doing arsehole, now back off look", but he persisted unsuccessfully, which pissed him off tremendously. He ended up pursuing us from the overpass where Lady Diana was killed, down into the Metro Station, where he hit my Godmother over the head with a half empty plastic bottle filled with Fanta. To my surprise I stood up and mouthed "F*@K YOU".

Apparently the F bomb is a universal language because he lunged at me, but was thankfully held back by his equally snivelling friend, who dragged him away.

Traumatic experience yes, but groovy story no?!

So I went on to become a breeder and still loving to travel we packed up our 10 month old, aka Squishy, and took ourselves to Greece. Travel with a 10 month old brings a whole new set of challenges and sometime trauma.

We visited the Island of Mykonos (awesome place), and one day we decided to take the bus around the island to Agios Ioannis beach, which is the location where Shirley Valentine was filmed. We found the bus that would take us there, it was a 1960's flash back that smelled like 50 years of second hand Greek smoke and urine and off we went.

Sometime later we were dropped off in a cul-de-sac at the end of a cliff near a dumpster full of rubbish and the bus drove away, not to return for two hours. We humped the Squishy into his backpack and we started off up a road to nowhere, hoping it led somewhere. It led to a beautiful secluded beach and the only access was to scramble down the sheer cliff face on your backside which we were not doing with a 10 month old.

So there we stood in the middle of nowhere, unable to access this beautiful beach and unable to leave for another two hours. To top it off the Squishy had a poo explosion. With no place to change him, we lay him on a change matt on the rocky road while he cried his little heart out and changed his bum.

It was only when we were done, we noticed we had changed him about 5cm from a used condom - aah! With nothing else to do, we trudged back up the road, singing Monty Python's "Always look on the bright side of life" and waited for our bus. Waste of a good day in Mykonos yes, but groovy story no?!

. . . ___ . . . ___ . . . 

Bree is the author of Twinkle in the Eye. Bree shares her experience of motherhood and allows others to do the same. Twinkle in the Eye features great commentary, interviews and oh so fabulous home cooking. You can also find Bree on the bird and the book.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The anti-honeymoon: Featuring expelled bodily fluids, but not like that yo

If I've done this properly, today is Wednesday and by now I'll be in Donnelly River. Apparently there are cottages, a mill and, unsurprisingly, a river there. 

Today's fab guest is Georgia. I might add that I've seen this woman spew and I can attest to the ladylike quality of her up chucks.
. . . ___ . . . ___ . . .

After three quick, ladylike, attractive spews in the garden outside the chapel, I made my way in and got married.

Bring on the honeymoon - nudge nudge, wink wink - as they say.

But first there was the wedding reception. Which started with a minor spot fire as I leapt up from my seat to avoid a drunken guest spilling a bottle of red wine over my cream dress, sending the candelabra behind me into the tulle behind that.

I made my way through the night running off to our bridal suite for a few quick chunders and an arsenal of drugs. Not Viagra.

Finally, at the stroke of midnight, we farewelled the guests and sped back to our bridal suite to ride the porcelain bus - each of us for different reasons.

What followed was the worst 5 hours of my life, vomiting, delirious, and absorbing my new husband's alcohol by close body contact, while suffering from a nasty virus myself.

5am the following morning we hit the airport, our first day as husband and wife, heading to tropical Bali for our loved up honeymoon.

We boarded the plane and an announcement about our newly married status was made. We were asked to stand and smile, wave and nod. It was excruiciating.

Then we were presented with an enormous chocolate mud cake and a bottle of warm bubbly. At 7am.

Three Garuda Indonesia flight attendants and both pilots stood and grinned expectantly, waiting for us to dig in.


The cake went down badly - although I doubt very much the other passengers believe we were making a mad dash to the loo for a spew, judging by their smirks and winks. One even offered Hubby a high 5 as we rushed past.

The bubbly was popped and went everywhere. Reeking of cheap bubbly at 7:30am when he's severely hungover, and I'm in the midst of some god awful virus, simply delightful. Then we had to drink what wasn't sprayed over our person.

Oh. Dear. God. Warm, cheap bubbly at 7:30am while we are both verging on vomit.

Flash forward 3 1/2 hours of stickiness, reeking of booze and constant nausea, and we arrive in Bali.

We checked in to our gorgeous resort and went straight to bed. Again, to the nods, winks and smirks of staff.

My new husband slept most of the afternoon and evening in the bath, head in the toilet. It was totes romantic and stuff.

Finally, the following morning we were both feeling 100% again.

We celebrated by heading out for lunch. Hubby was raring to go and ordered a local prawn curry.

He then spent the next 3 days on the toilet.

As he recovered, we moved to another hotel in a different area. It had a beautiful pool set out next to the bar and restaurant.

I promptly settled in for some sun baking, and asked Hubby to keep an eye on my back and wake me up if I fell asleep.

He promised to do the husbandly thing and look after me...but then he found the bar.

At one point I must've rolled over in my sleep, as I woke at least three hours later completely red raw all over, as if I'd been in a rotisserie. My new husband was at the bar dribbling shit to his new soul mate, an equally pissed English guy. It appeared to be true love. I daren't interrupt and come between them.

I went to bed with severe sun stroke. Shivering, faux vomiting on account of my still empty stomach. I was an entirely alluring, retching, glowing red oompah loompah. Why was my husband not attempting to ravage me? Probably for fear of radiating burns if he got too close to my steaming person.

I recovered a couple of days later, sort of.

Just in time for a room service delivery of apple pie and cream. Is there any better dessert to enjoy as a couple?

Maybe, maybe not. But who else can say they've shared a romantic piece of apple pie and cream and mould, with their beloved?

A great whopping layer of mould beneath the pastry top, which we only found at the very last minute when we crossed spoons and fought over the final piece.

You guessed it, cue further illness....

Nothing brings a newly married couple closer than having to share one toilet in a confined space while both suffering from food poisoning.

Again, we recovered. Eventually.

I won't lie and say something poetic like the sun shone brightly as we emerged from our hotel room, ready to enjoy the last remaining days of our honeymoon....

Because it was raining cats and dogs and elephants and giraffes and every other bloody animal to have ever walked the earth.

The rain was so heavy, in fact, that the resort had flooded. All the way into the rooms. And so it was, that we spent the raminder of our honeymoon holed up in our lovely suite, wading through ankle deep water, not seeing the tropical paradise we had hoped to enjoy. No electricity. Nothing but 4 walls and a shit load of rain.

To say that we were relieved to head home, is as much of an understatement as saying saying I very rarely don't mind a little sip of booze, but only on special occasions.

The universe was clearly feeling sorry for us, as we scored an upgrade to business class for our flights home.

It was all very fancy, and they served a lovely prawn dish for lunch that we both wolfed down.

Until we got home and realised that the prawn dish was not quite so lovely....but at least we had a toilet each at home....
. . . ___  . . . ___ . . . 

Parental Parody is about surviving parenting one wine/whine at a time. Rather than improve on her poorly parenting skills, Georgia prefers to blog her frequent and epic parenting fails with maximum sarcasm. This blog is the place where other parents go to feel superior. She also swoons drunkenly at Dennis Lillee given half a chance.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I went to Smiggen Holes and all I got was this lousy spew bucket

While I'm on our giant South West WA road trip I've got some guest posts lined up. Let's all pray to the Google gods that I've scheduled this stuff correctly and it works.

Today we've got Kelly. On a side note, Smiggen Holes is the best holiday destination name I've ever heard.

. . . ___ . . . ___ . . .

In June we decided it was time we introduced the kids to The Snow. Isn’t it a bit silly how so many of us call it The Snow, as if it’s the name of a suburb? Snow happens to fall in many places... But anyhoo.

The 6hr drive with a 4year old (J), 2year old (H) and 3 month old (A) was a dream. I’d packed an eski full of drinks and snacks, a potty (no the potty was not IN the eski), 2 portable dvd players, an iPod, some books, there was plenty to keep them occupied. There was a music festival on this particular weekend so between snowman building, exploring, eating and listening to music, our days were full and so were our hearts.

The second night there, the boys wanted to go to kids club so Hubby and I took the opportunity to have a nice, slow, 3 course meal. A was pretty well behaved and let’s face it, when you have 3 kids, ditching just 2 of them feels like a holiday. When we picked the boys up from kids club they were so happy, they’d had a great time and told us that they wanted to go back. This is heaven, we thought. We should go away more often.

After a shower, we tucked all 3 kids into bed. We couldn’t believe what an amazing time we were having. Everyone was so well behaved, the weather was perfect. Bliss.

Later that night H climbed into bed with us. “My belly hurts!” he moaned as he snuggled into me. After a while his restlessness was annoying so I sent him back to his bed. Within 10 minutes we heard a godawful noise, ran into their room and switched the light on. Vomit. EVERYWHERE. This kid was like a burst water main, and he was spraypainting the room with the contents of his stomach. Hubby quickly scooped him up and stood him in the shower. Genius, right? I was impressed. When he finally finished, we showered him, brushed his teeth and gave him a drink of water.

Then he started again.

And again.

And finally it was over.

We now had a stinking pile of sheets and towels in their ensuite, a huge wet patch on the carpet, and one stripped bed, but reception didn’t open until 9am – there was no one around and the laundry was locked. The room that the boys shared had 3 beds so we moved H to a different bed and finally got him to sleep.

In the morning we gave H some dry toast and water for breakfast, but it seemed he couldn’t keep anything down. Suddenly our mini break had turned to shit. I took a deep breath and approached the reception desk...

Um... my 2yr old seems to have picked up a stomach bug, and... ah... there’s spew all over our room. And we need some more towels. And sheets. And I need to do a load of washing. And our room smells really bad. And do you have a bucket we could borrow?”

Lunch time came and H complained that he was hungry so I made him some noodles. He started to pick up, and it had been several hours since his last vomit, so when he asked to go outside and play in the snow, we thought it was safe. We were wrong. We had to bury vomit in the snow. Apologies to those at Smiggin Holes in June. The yellow snow was not what you thought.

We were stupid enough to brave the restaurant for dinner. He’d kept some biscuits and water down so we figured it was over. But, just like John Farnham, calling it the Last Time did not in fact mean that it was THE LAST TIME. We made it through 2 courses with A asleep on my lap and H asleep on Hubby’s lap. This isn’t so bad we sighed, finally starting to relax. Then H got a little restless, so again my quick thinking husband grabbed him and headed for the door, while I waited at the table for the bill. 

They made it all the way to the door that led from the restaurant to the bar. And it was there, in the door way, that H finally had his last spew. I sat at the table, mortified, pretending for a moment that this child didn’t belong to me. Until I saw Hubby proceed to remove spew-boy’s vomit covered shirt right there, in the doorway. I grabbed A and ran toward them...

“Take him back to the room!” I whisper-yelled at Hubby.

“But his clothes are...”

“People are trying to eat,” I interrupted “and they don’t need to watch him regurgitate the same four cheese pasta that they are consuming!”

I apologised and paid the bill. I was mortified. I was THAT parent. The one with the spewy kid. I have judged THAT parent many times. As if you would take a spewy kid to a restaurant. As if.

We tucked the kids into bed, it was our last night in the Snowy Mountains. Before long, J wandered into our room. “My belly hurts...” With the reflexes of a cat, Hubby ran and grabbed the bucket from H’s bedside, placing it under J’s chin just as he began to heave. We stared at each other, words weren’t necessary, we knew we were both thinking the same thing. You better not start too.

Long story short, both boys woke up good as new in the morning, but we did ask for a second bucket for the long drive home.
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Kelly is a sarcastic perfectionist who suffers psychotic outbreaks in her endeavour to be a Superwoman. She blogs at Handmade Tears and Triumphs about glorious victories and epic failures, appropriate social behaviours, recipes, and the odd fiction piece about a woman named Stella. She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Holidaying with the parents... as an adult

While I'm gallivanting around the South West I've got some guest posts lined up. Let's all pray to the Google gods that I've scheduled this stuff correctly and it works.

First up is the lovely Tegan. I shudder at the thought of holidaying with my parents... even more so after reading this!
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I'm 24 and I have a 3 yo. I'm insane and a glutton for punishment because I still holiday with my parents. In a small unit. Usually sharing a room with my now 13yo brother. These holidays make me want to stab someone. Usually my mouthy 13yo brother.

The most memorable holiday as an adult with a child however was 3 years ago. We were going to the Gold Coast. Staying in a beach front highrise at Coolangatta. The parents paid for everything, including trip to Dreamworld. Sounds great right? It would have been if the universe didn't hate me.

First issue. I completely fucked my hip somehow. It hurt to sit, to stand, to lay down and to generally do anything that a good holiday entails. In hindsight I should have gotten myself a walking frame and be done with it. I already had the completely outlandish limp, grey hair and bad temper so why not throw in a walking frame just for shits and giggles.

Second issue. Some arsewipe decided that it would be totes awesome to hack and drain my account. The first day of the holiday. A Saturday. No banks were open. I had to ask for everything. Like a child. Cue 21yo limping, in a bad mood: "uh mum can I have a drink". Oh yes I felt like I was on a 'real' family holiday. I couldn't even get rip roaring drunk, taking advantage of the free baby sitters that are 'Nanny' and 'Poppy' because I didn't have any money. You know, because it's the 21st century and everyone uses plastic. Our hotel was right next to a night club and I couldn't go!

That was my first holiday as an adult with a child. An experience I never, ever want to go through again. I'm still a glutton for punishment though and usually go on holidays with my parents at least once a year. I still want to kill my brother, I've just got an ally now who is a 3yo with his mumma's feisty streak.
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Musings of the Misguided is the ranting and general bullshit ramblings of a mum to a toddler. What makes it so special? I have a mental illness thrown in just to shake things up a bit. I have a 3yo who loves me to death (aka drives me up the wall) and a partner who thinks he knows it all but lets me wear the pants because they fit better ;) . I write about everything from mental health awareness to smelly boys. Life is rarely sunshine and lollipops around here so join me as I have fun taking the piss and refining my expertise in sarcasm.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Glow Family Road Trip, now with bonus map

On Sunday, I'm heading out on a 1200km road trip. One thousand, two hundred kilometers.When I spell it out it seems so much longer and all of a sudden I'm wondering what the hell I've gotten myself in to. 1200km of being cooped up in a car, singing endless renditions of Old MacDonald, passing innumerable snacks to the back seat before capitulating and handing over the iPad.

For most of it, there will just be the three of us. One husband. One wife. One child. Unlike our other road trips, this one will be sans farting dog who is staying home with a sitter. Already, it's ten times better than any previous car trip.

Like any family holiday, a bit of planning goes in to it. And if you're Map Guy and have wanted to create maps since you were seven years old and asked your dad what the person who makes the maps is called, a little bit of mapping goes in to it too.

Behold, the Glow Family Road Trip Infographic:

That's not just a squiggle, that's our actual route. And those icons? Exactly what we'll be doing or seeing at each stop. The man has too much time on his hands is a genius.

I'm looking forward to visiting the biggest free entry playground in Australia, a winery, an Alpaca farm, a winery, a lavender and berry farm, a winery, The Cidery, a winery, a "hands-on-feed-the-animals" farm, a winery, the home of the best steak sandwich in country WA and visiting a few wineries. 

I'm looking forward to it being just us with nothing to interrupt our time together (1,2,3, nawww). And, though it's hard to believe, I'm actually looking forward to the severely restricted mobile internet coverage in regional WA.

So if you don't hear from me for a week, don't worry. If you don't hear from me in two weeks, print out this map and give it to the police - we'll be somewhere along it.

I've got some lovely bloggers guest posting for me while I'm away, so show them some lovin' and if you're feeling particularly generous share their posts - because I won't be able to!

Do you do giant road trips? Are there wineries involved?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I will be a better mother

Recently I was told "You're a much better mother than we thought you'd be", and sadly, it wasn't the first time it's been said to me.

Both times I was a little dumbfounded and I think I managed an "Umm... thanks... I think?" in response.

Nothing quite like a backhanded compliment, is there?

But really, I can't get too angry about it because, well, I agree. I think I'm a much better mother than I thought I'd be.

For as long as I could remember I had vowed never to have children because I knew I would fuck them up. In my mind, it was guaranteed. I’d read all about it, and seen it with my own eyes. Kids of people like me just didn’t turn out well. I thought it would be the ultimate act of selfishness to have a child knowing what I knew.

It will sound cliché, but after dating Map Guy for only a few short months everything changed. He believed in me. I was an obese, chain smoking, mentally unstable gal on a disability pension. What a catch! Re reow! But, as he tells it, he saw something in me that I didn’t.

His belief filtered through the dark, jagged forest of my thoughts on gossamer wings. It’s amazing what happens when someone believes in you and actually tells you so… firstly you think they’re quite obviously mentally unhinged and you consider sharing your anti-psychotic meds with them, but after a while, bit by bit, you start to believe it too. For the first time in my life I could see a future that was not all black clouds and hospital stays. I could see the real me underneath that he had seen all along. I could see love and joy and life. New life. Babies. 

I worked hard, bloody hard, determined to not be the mother that everyone else, including me, just assumed I was going to be. Instead of letting that red flag with “people like you are bad mothers” written on it bring me down, I used it to make me a stronger, better mother, determined not to let the cycle repeat in my own house.

This is not some rose coloured glasses bullshit. I’m still pretty sure he will still end up having "issues". It is me mothering him after all. But instead of ones that will land him in juvenile detention, I’m now thinking more along the lines of this:

I think I’m a good mother. My kid is fed, clothed, kept warm and loved more than I ever knew was possible. But I could be better. I don’t want perfection. I don’t want Carol Brady. Hell, even she must have known heartache and sorrow before she got to her happily ever after. Divorced? Widowed? They never actually mention why her first marriage ended. Emotional baggage like that can't be wrapped up within a half hour show. Instead, all that baggage comes out in the day to day living of life. In the way we deal with public tantrums, the refusals to lay down for a nappy change and pain in the ass bedtime routines.

I’m joining the Parent Manifesto twelve week online course to become the mother I want to be. I've read the book and I liked how it wasn't a "you must do this and the world will be rainbows and lollipops" set of instructions, that you could pick and choose what to implement in a way that suited your own family. The course, I'm hoping, will cement it further and help me put it all in to practice.

So what do I want to get out of this opportunity? I want to learn how to stop mumbling “for fuck’s sake” under my breath when Tricky throws a tantrum at 4:00am like he did the other morning (don’t ask, it’s a long story punctuated with many tears). I want to learn how to handle a toddler who is pushing boundaries left, right and centre but is just too little to fully reason with. Basically, I want to enjoy my wine after bedtime, not resort to it.

If you’d like to join me, the online course starts on the 10th of September, runs for 12 weeks and costs $127. That’s just over $10 a week to become a better parent. You can register by clicking here or the image below. If you enter the codeword 'FRIEND' (cos y'all are my friends, right?) you'll get a $20 discount.

A few times over the next three months I’ll be checking in and letting you know how I’m going. A no-holds-barred look at my parenting skills or lack thereof. This will be an interesting ride.

Do you want to be a better parent? If you could change one thing about your parenting, what would it be?

This is not a sponsored post but does contain affiliate links. My participation in the course is complimentary and as always all opinions are my own and completely truthful.


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