Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bobbin's Babyshower Giveaway - Are you ready?

A few months ago I started putting the wheels in motion for a giveaway to help celebrate the impending birth of little Bobbin and it is finally here! Hooray! Bust out the lady-giving-birth-cake. Or not.

I'm not having a Babyshower this time around because I figured it would be a bit greedy to have one for a second child. But I thought why not have an online Babyshower and do the whole "but you get the presents" thing? Fab idea, right? RIGHT! Totally original, right? Yeah, not so much. But anywho, let's not sneeze at awesome things coming your way from these amazing brands:

Perfect stuff if you've just, or are just about to, pop out a sprog. Or foster one. Or adopt one. Or you're about to be invited to an actual Babyshower and want your present to be better than anyone elses without actually having to leave home or, you know, pay for it.

Every day for a whole week, starting tomorrow, there will be a new giveaway for you to enter. Entering requires a Facebook account and you can enter each individual giveaway daily (each will run for two weeks). You can get extra entries that will put you in the drawer for the bonus prize by sharing the giveaways using the dedicated share buttons that will pop up once you have entered. Sharing is caring after all. Nawww.

Some of these fabulous brands offered to send Bobbin and I some gifts as well as products to include in the giveaway and as always this has been included in a disclaimer on the appropriate posts.

To make sure you don't miss any of the giveaways you can follow Where's My Glow? on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe so you get them all delivered straight to your inbox. Check out the sidebar right at the top where it says "Get More Glow" for details.

To see all posts as they go live click here.

So tell me, what product could you not live without when you had a newborn?

Bobbin’s Babyshower Giveaway graphic modified from a Creative Commons image from NinaMatthews Photography

Thursday, June 27, 2013

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu...

Today I'm sad. Like proper sad panda, sad.

A girl I met almost ten years ago, who has become a really good friend, is leaving the country today. For a long time. She says a year, but you know how that always turns out, right?

When we met she was a school leaver and I was spending my days trying to find direction in my life. Read: doing bugger all. We didn't become friends straight away due to a lot of things: our age difference (I'm six years older than her), differing tastes in music and the fact that she lived miles away. But this girl loved The Sound of Music as much as me, if not more, so I figured she had to be OK. I obviously judge all people by their level of affection to musicals.

Over the years we became closer thanks to a shared love of old school movies, funky jewelery, false eyelashes, dress up parties, sparkly shoes, V8 Supercars, inappropriate swearing and rolling our eyes at stupid people. All very important, intellectual things.

In fact I liked her so much I decided to marry her brother.

She's never been a fan of little kids in general, but has developed quite the soft spot for Tricky since he grew from a if-you-drop-it-it-will-break baby in to an interactive much-less-breakable toddler. Who would've thought the girl who was afraid to hold her nephew would now be one of his favourite people that he talks about constantly? Aunty Kitty gets down on the floor and starts playing LEGO and cars as soon as she walks in the door. A chick who plays with cars, what more can you want?

I am going to miss her terribly. But alas she cares not about my feelings and is determined to see and experience the world. Pfft, selfish! Even the promise of meeting Bobbin could not keep her close by and, like so many young Australians before her, she's off to explore and then work in the UK. However unlike so many young Australians it won't be as a beer wench, it will be as a medical professional.

Map Guy, Tricky and I are going to the airport with her to wave her off today. Her punishment for swanning off across the world is that I am one of those people who is terrible at airport goodbyes.You know the ones. Not the hanky-waving, single tear drop farewell but the shoulder heaving, breath sucking goodbyes.

And just in case the sobbing snot factory is not evidence enough, so that she understands the full impact her departure is having on me, we've created a playlist to listen to on our way there complete with iconic bawl-your-eyes-out tunes including "Better be home soon", "I'm in London still", "Goodbye" and "Day you went away". I'll bet she's already wishing she didn't ask for a lift to the airport.

Kitty getting ready to be my bridesmaid
Travel safe, Kitty, we will miss you so, so much xxx

P.S. Update your damn blog, I didn't make it pretty for nothing

Friday, June 21, 2013

The highlight of my week was a second hand fridge. What has my life become?

Out with the old, in with the new

It appears I have crossed some invisible line in the sand of adulthood and/or maturity (don't bet on the latter, though) and in the last few weeks have found myself deliriously excited about choosing a new fridge and getting it delivered.

Making it even more exciting (or sadder, depending on how you look at it), is that it wasn't even brand new and the amount of money we saved has me singing every time I see the stainless steel monstrosity I have affectionately named Fred. We picked our new fridge out of a catalogue then looked online to see if we could find it second hand and a few days later up pops a Facebook status from a friend saying they're selling last years model because it doesn't fit in their new house. SOLD! 

I'm not entirely sure when a fridge/freezer morphed from being somewhere to keep wine chilled in to a place to store bulk batches of food in an attempt to create healthy homemade convenience meals and snacks, but I would guess it was somewhere around the time my uterus started contracting the first time.

Before then a freezer section was only for bread, meat, possibly chips and a frozen pizza or two. The fridge was for leftovers, milk and condiments. Cupboards? Cupboards are for shit loads of snacks, obviously. An entire shelf dedicated to chocolate? Yes please. This appalled Map Guy. He is super healthy. Like, playing sport, going for a run, eat all the fruits and vegetables, healthy.

These days, with a little person's mind and body to guide, I'm much more health (and budget) focused and cook as much from scratch as I can to the point where our fridge/freezer and cupboards were overflowing with ingredients and there was no place to actually put anything I made. This isn't to say we don't eat crap. We do. Just not too much. So Fred was much needed and I may or may not sneak out to caress him in the middle of the night.

So our completely fine but on-the-small-side fridge/freezer has been replaced with the biggest one we can fit in to the space (it fits by only a few millimetres) and I am joyous. After an initial hiccup of Fred not being able to fit between the bench and the wall and needing to be wheeled around the entire house to use the other door, he's in and being loaded up with goodies. I cannot wait to start cooking.

Do whitegoods excite you? Fred is stainless steel, can I still call him whitegoods?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tricky: Toy Expert. Well, um, kinda.

This is a S3 post
For full details please see my disclosure policy

What do they say? Never work with children or animals. Well I’m not clever enough to take that on so I asked if Tricky wanted to look through the online catalogue and be in a video for the Big W toy sale. Here’s a helpful hint: don’t do this at home unless you truly wish to find out just how toy obsessed your child is.

In true toddler style he then jumped up and ran to get my car keys saying we had to go to the shops NOW and buy Radio (Radiator) Springs, and the cars, and the trucks, and the rubbish truck, and the digger, and the train set, and you get the point. The exact thing that happens when we go to the shops and the exact reason why I love online toy shopping. No tantrums, not even from me.

So, um, maybe learn from my mistake and don’t give your kids the catalogue to make a silly video. Instead just sit with it yourself over a cuppa (or *ahem* a glass of wine if you’re so inclined) and order once they’re in bed and just wait for the parcels to arrive!

If you’re strapped for cash or space then just use the online no deposit lay-by and set up auto deductions between now until October and have them delivered in December. With an aversion to shopping centres, and more specifically shopping centre carparks, at Christmas, this is what I’m doing.

I have five $100 vouchers to give away to get your shopping started. To win check out and tell me in the entry form provided below which three toys you think your Toy Expert would choose.

The sale starts on the 27th and runs until the 10th of July, so get your catalogue and start circling now. Unless it's an iPad in which case please don't draw on it.

Monday, June 17, 2013

6 tips on how to win a blog giveaway

Am I the only one who can't hear the phrase "pick a winner" without thinking of someone picking their nose?

I've been asked a few times recently how I pick the winners for the giveaways on this here little blog. Each time it has started with an incredulous "you actually read all the entries?!". And the answer is yes, yes I do. Even when there are HUNDREDS.

So I figured I'd write it all down so you know what I'm looking for - and with a HUGE giveaway around the corner (check out that sidebar *coughbabyshowercough*) you'll want to know!

Blog giveaways, to keep within the laws and whatnot, are games of skill, meaning there has to be some sort of answer to a question and certain answers get my attention way more than others. And no, it isn't just the ones that mention wine. I minimize the columns with names so that I have no idea whose entry I'm reading and I go through highlighting ones that catch my eye with certain qualities.

So what qualities am I looking for in your entry?
  • Short - I normally have a 25 word or less limit because I have to read all the entries and if they're novels it would take forever. And yes, I do check! 
  • Humour - it doesn't have to be side splitting, but a chuckle or a half giggle is ace.
  • Appropriate - if I've asked what your favourite icecream flavour is, don't tell me about your sister's boyfriend's dog's knee operation. No, really.
  • Rhyme - a high proportion of the winners of giveaways here have written me a little rhyme. They show effort and I'm such a sucker for effort. If you can get a funny, appropriate poem in 25 words or less that is top quality stuff, baby! You're almost guaranteed to be in my top 5.
  • Contactable - most of the time I'll have a spot on the entry form for your delivery address so that if my "you won" email goes to spam I won't be hanging around for weeks waiting for your address and the threat of a redraw looming over my head. If you write "124 Smith St" and don't tell me a suburb or state then you get culled. Sometimes I forget to put the address field in and smack myself in the head repeatedly because redraws are a pain in the ass.
  • Valid - live in a different country? You (usually) can't win, sorry. Only half filled out the entry form? You can't win, sorry. Not answered the question? You can't win, sorry.
After I've gone through them all there are normally about twenty or so amazing answers in my short list that I will then ruthlessly cull to get a top five. Depending on how traumatic it has been for me to get to this point I either pull up my big girl pants and pick a winner or palm it off to someone else to choose - either the PR company or Map Guy.

Then I have a look at the name (sometimes I know them but most times I don't) and send them an email full of squee. The reply emails of OMG I WON?! completely make my day.

So it isn't hard to win a giveaway here, but it definitely requires a few minutes of effort. Having said that, some of the prizes for the big giveaway coming up will require you to find an answer on a webpage but I'll STILL be looking for entries that stand out!

Are you a comper? What is the best prize you have ever won?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

So this whole birth thing is starting to freak me out

As I move closer and closer to the business end of pregnancy (related: um, how did we get this far this fast?!) I'm becoming a tad anxious about the birthing bit.

I'm not afraid of the actual physical part of birth - billions of women have done this before me (including me once before) and I take comfort from that. I'm not scared of the pain - I've felt it before and whilst I'm not eager to experience those sensations I know they are there for a reason and can be overcome. Plus I get a cute squishy baby at the end.

What I'm actually worried about is giving birth to said squishy cute thing in the car on the side of the freeway. 

When Tricky was born I had a syntocinon drip for a little while (despite letting the medical team know that I didn't want one - but that is a whole other story). I was only on it about ten minutes before Tricky became distressed. It was withdrawn for a few hours and then put back on later at a reduced rate then removed yet again about twenty minutes later because it huuurt.

After it was removed there was some faffing around then I was checked and found to be at 4cm. Then we changed up a gear. To light speed. In the next ten minutes I progressed to 10cm and he was crowning. In case you're wondering, yes that hurts like a mofo. Just under 20 minutes later he was born.

I live half an hour away from the Birth Centre and "everyone" tells me that this labour will be faster. I even have a giant red sticker on my file for "precipitous labour" (aka shoots 'em out quick). 10 minutes of super dilating and 20 minutes of figuring out what was happening and doctors being paged and then pushing a couple times adds up to thirty minutes. Fark.

"Everyone" also says stay home until you're in established labour but I went from bugger all to established to oh look a baby so quickly that staying home until that happens isn't really an option. Perhaps I should have a stack of towels on standby for an unplanned homebirth? Even if I planned a homebirth, if it goes that quick again, unless my midwife lived next door it would be unassisted.

The other thing that scares me, just as much, ironically, is that this time around might be much, much longer and the whole time I'll be thinking "this should be over by now, get me a fucking epidural!!". I'll go to the Birth Centre at the first twinges only to be there for two days with bugger all happening and no one happy for me to leave (including me) because of how quick things progressed last time.

And there is absolutely bugger all I can do about it. I just have to trust my body and keep a towel handy. And boiled water. And nail scissors. Or whatever it is. For a control freak with a body that often falls apart, it is proving to be a bit hard. The meditation CDs are out, the yoga is being done and the calming vibes are being summoned. Um, what else?

Were your births fast or slow?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A house full of memories

Oh hey, guess who is in a magazine this month? Any excuse to get my mug in a national mag, right? Well, not so much this time because it's not an article about blogging. Or motherhood. Or being whingey. The three things most often associated with me. Instead it is an article about property. In a property magazine.

Now I'm no property guru. I live in a 1970s shoe-box sized house on fair whack of land (by suburban Perth standards) in a suburb known for its high proportion of Centrelink recipients. Of which I'm obviously one - ohai soon to be gone Baby Bonus.

But my friend Shannon, who happens to be the Deputy Editor of Australian Property Investor, asked (via Facebook - where all good questions are asked) if anyone knew anyone who had bought a house that had a family connection somewhere in its history for an article he was writing. So I put up my hand. Because it's nice to help a friend and also the whole I'm a MEDIA WHORE thing. Plus I had an idea for some cool photos.

Yours truly is gracing the pages of this month's issue of Australian Property Investor because I bought the house my parents built in the 1970s.

L: Me in the laundry sink 1983    R: Tricky in the new laundry sink 2013.
See the door handle and curtain? Still the same!

Map Guy and I bought the place in 2008 and renovated extensively to de-70-ify it. The archways have all been squared off, the hideous yet groovy in its hey day yellow and brown laundry has been replaced with sleek grey and white, the teeny kitchen has been ripped out and a new sparkly one put in its place and the whole place rendered and painted. Let's not talk about the back yard though.

My little house is full of memories. I remember sitting in the dining room with my grandparents and blowing out birthday candles. I remember my uncle knocking on the front door dressed as Santa... though I was sure it was actually the dude from the North Pole at the time. I remember washing my dolls' clothes and hanging them on a string line under the patio. And whilst almost everything about the house is different I can still see the ghosts of those happy times. I often get extraordinary de ja vu walking around this place.

L: Teeny tiny yellow and brown kitchen (me in my mum's arms) 1982
R: My bigger kitchen with red glass splashback
It is the house I took my first steps in and the house Tricky took his first steps in. I could go further and say we were both conceived in it, but that would just freak me out and give me terrible visuals. And we all know how I feel about that.

It is still a shoe-box but it's a much more modern shoe-box. Right now we're debating whether or not to extend. Every time I think we've made the decision, one of us, who shall remain nameless, spins out over how much money it will cost and how hard it will be being home all day with two children in a building site. Which kinda gives away which nameless person that is. If you can't figure it out, here's a clue:

L: Strike a pose circa 1985    R: Strike a pose 2013
Different front door, carpet and door handle. Same shitty brown tiles though!
What?! I happened to have red shoes and a black silk dressing gown hanging around!!

If you want to read the article to find out why we bought my parents' old house (that we'd moved out of when I was six) then get your hands on the June issue of Australian Property Investor.

Do you have a family connection to the home you live in?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Letter to Tricky - Three Years Old

Race Track Cake

My gorgeous Big Boy Tricky,

Oh little man, you are an absolute joy. Even now, three years on I still wonder what I did that was so good to deserve having you in our lives.

I sound like a broken record but you have come so far in the past twelve months and I am simply amazed. You’re no longer considered speech delayed and will quite happily talk in full sentences – in fact getting you to be quiet is now much harder than it ever was to get you to talk. I think you’re a bit of a perfectionist and didn’t want to attempt words until you knew you could say them. Your favourite sayings are “Beauty, Newc!” (aka John Newcombe) and “Watchu talkin’ bout, Willis?”. So yes, it appears you’re in a bit of a time warp.

You managed to practically potty train yourself about four months back. A few people have asked what my secret was, but I don’t think there was one. In fact I don’t think it had anything to do with me or your Dad at all. I think you were just ready and willing… although I’d say the jelly bean bribes and Lightning McQueen jocks did help a little. Add to that the fact that you weaned and you're practically a teenager now. Sorta.

You have the sweetest personality. You’re so caring and watching you develop empathy has been remarkable. Recently in a bout of teariness (at a news item on a rescued puppy I believe – hormones!) you came over and patted my arm, saying “You OK, mum? Need a cuddle?”. I just melted as you wrapped your arms around me.

Because I'm slightly obsessed with it, your manners are amazing. People always comment on them and you've already learned that they help you get what you want! You have the ladies at the fruit shop wrapped around your little finger and every week they give you fruit salad or a mango and you give them a cuddle and say thank you.

Now, don’t get me wrong, you’re no full time angel. You have a stubborn streak and make it very clear when you’re not happy. You have been saying you don’t like me and calling me mean when I ask you to pick up your toys. This breaks my heart a little. Not enough to clean up your toys for you though.

Bath and shower time isn’t very fun at the moment. You have a phobia of water on your face and head – it has been around for a long time but it is getting a bit worse lately. I’m not sure what is going on and I’ve tried so many things to make you feel OK but I’m failing terribly. You get so scared and worked up that I fear the neighbours will one day call the police, certain we’re doing something awful when we’re only washing your hair.

I’m still not a fan of your sleeping habits. I don’t mind co-sleeping, in fact I quite like the cuddles… but you are a pillow hog, a doona kicker-offer-er, a head butter and a kidney kicker. And you never wake up when you do any of those things leaving your dad and I to mutter under our breaths and check to see if our noses are bleeding.

Despite your uncanny ability to aim for my shnoz, I made you another birthday cake. I figured you would have forgotten about last years Fire Engine Cake and I could just buy you one because mama is a bit exhausted... but last month when I mentioned it was almost your birthday you piped up with "Will me get another Fire Engine cake?". Your memory is insane!! So this year you get a race track cake.

Of course the big news is you’re going to be a big brother. Little Bobbin is on the way and will be here before you know it. You hug my belly and say hello to the baby most days though I’m not sure you realize that Bobbin will live here when born… that part is still a work in progress. As is your big boy room to go with your big brother status. You have chosen cars and we are not at all surprised as you’re obsessed with all vehicles and can easily recognize all sorts of different cars and machinery (“It’s not a digger, mum, it’s an ex-avator” and “Look a Land Cruiser!”).

You’re a clever cookie, just like your dad. You can write the alphabet in capitals and last month you wrote your name for the first time. I was so proud and took a photo of it to send to all your grandparents. You spell everything out you see and then pretend you can read – you have a bottle with Star Mart on it and you spell out “S T A R M A R T… drink bottle!”. The first time you did it we’d been eating takeaway from Harry and the Boys – you spelled out every single letter on the box and declared “PIZZA!” as the grand result. I giggle every time.

You’re growing up so fast, lad, and next year you’ll be in kindy, away from home two and a half days a week. I’m pretty sure you’ll crack it and declare you don’t want to go every. single. time. Then go, have the best day ever and then refuse to come home. Just like you do for day care every single Thursday.

Thank you for another amazing year. With you around I think I’m learning just as much about life as you are. You remind me what is important every day: family, love, forgiveness and bed time.

So happy birthday, Tricks, here's your montage (smaller this year thanks to a tech issue!). I chose a jazz song for you since the genre is fast becoming your favourite. 

Love Mama xxx


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...