30 May 2016

Corners of My Home: The Lounge Room


I promised to show you "the corners of my home" and today I'm going to welcome you into my favourite corner of the house - the lounge room.

We live in a 1920's Californian bungalow, which has many beautiful original features, including beamed ceilings, paned glass and - my favourite - a lovely north-facing bay window.
Somehow the lounge is perfect in all seasons: in summer it's a cool retreat from the heat of the day, but in winter it's cosy and warm, with a gas fire and plenty of snuggly cushions and throws.

I've painted the room a restful shade of duck-egg blue...


24 May 2016

In Defense of Ritalin (and ADHD Kids)

In defence of Ritalin (and kids with ADHD)

ADHD seems to be misunderstood and get a bad rap from people who don't actually know much about it, so I'm here today to throw my hat in the ring and clear up a few misconceptions.

I've heard comments from many quarters about the tendency these days to "throw around labels" and "bung kids on medication". In some circles it's rumoured that ADHD isn't even a thing - that it's made up - because apparently "French children don't get ADHD" (the same way French women don't get fat. Yeah right).
Some people have the idea that ADHD is a convenient excuse for the bad behaviour of children who, in earlier generations, would just be called "naughty". Sigh.

Of course it's one thing to be able to sit up on a very high horse and spout theories, it's another to live with children who actually have that very real thing going on in their brains, which makes life and school so painfully difficult, for them and us as parents.

16 May 2016

Action-Packed Video Game Party: *Star Wars vs Superheroes*

Video game battle Party: Star Wars vs. Superheroes

What do you do when your baby turns eight, and he wants to have a party that encompasses all his favourite things? He loves Star Wars, he loves Super Heroes, he loves Video Games - and he just can't decide what kind of party he wants.
Well, if you're me (and you're slightly mad) you find a way to to mix all three themes together. You and the birthday boy  put your heads together and dream up an action packed "Video Game Battle Party: Star Wars vs. Superheroes". It's like having three party themes in one, really. But you reckon you can pull it off because you've done Star Wars before (and already have loads of stuff), you've always wanted to do a Super Hero party and the video game thing can tie the other two themes he loves together.

So here we go - a crazy, action packed, Video Game Battle Birthday (which did  not involve much actual video gaming) but was LOADS of fun for all.



30 April 2016

How to Host a Pop-Up Cafe in Your Garden

How to Host a Pop-Up Cafe in your Garden

This week we held a pop-up cafe in our garden - me, Miss Fab, a bunch of her lovely pals and Grandma. It was a raving success - and bloddy hard work - as well as super fun.
This was part of our fundraising efforts to get our young cheerleader to Hawaii for her competition in June,

Hubby and I are firm believers in getting the kids to work for what they want. We want them to put in an effort themselves rather than just expecting the Bank of Dad to hand over endless wads of cash for the exciting things they want to do. It's important, we reckon, to teach our kids how to work for their goals. I mean, that's real life, isn't it? They'll be out there for real one day with the trainer wheels off, doing life on their own. The more experience they've had working for what they want, putting in sweat and elbow grease toward their dreams, the more confidence they'll have facing their future.

Miss Fab and I are both going to Hawaii and Daddy has agreed to pay half if we come up with the other half. We'd need to raise $2,500 towards the cost of this (very expensive) trip, so she and I put our thinking caps on and began to use what we're good at to raise the money. We are good at hosting. And decorating. And not bad at baking and making coffee. So we ran a garage sale, hosted a High Tea and did a bunch of jobs for people (including daddy). But by far the best (funnest) thing we've done was the Pop-Up Garden Cafe we ran this Tuesday gone, during the school holidays. It was amazing.

Here's how we did it (and how you could do it too).

20 April 2016

Baby Turns Eight (and Mum Ponders his Struggles)


Today I'm writing a post about my youngest child - the ray of sunshine affectionately known as Scrag.
He turned eight this week. EIGHT. My baby.
Scrag was born happy. He was a delight and a joy, the pet of the family and everybody's snuggle bug from his earliest days.
I remember being in the hospital, wracked with post-surgery pain (like nothing I've ever experienced before; so bad I wanted to die. The morphine did nothing.) My newborn baby was lying there gazing into my eyes, and he knew me. As we locked eyes, me in pain, him serene, I said to myself: it's worth it. This pain is worth it to have this child.


04 April 2016

Flying a Kite is a bit like Parenting

Flying a kite is a bit like parenting

On Saturday we went out to Piha Beach on the wild West Coast, in an attempt to break through the lethargy and blahness that sometimes descends on us all after an exhausting, busy week.
Credit to the hubby, who rounded us up and packed the car with snacks, a soccer ball and our never-before-used, still-in-its-packet Kite.

We've never had much luck with kites before, but for once the wind was blowing right and the kite's string was barely let out when the wind caught it and whipped it up into the air.