30 November 2016

How to throw a party for your teenager (the easy way)

How to throw a party for your teenager the easy way

When it comes to birthday parties, I am usually known for going over the top with party prep and creativity. For years this blog has offered tips, ideas and how to's on how to create themed birthday parties that your kid will look forward to for months and reminisce about for years.

This is not one of those parties. Those days are gone - at least when it comes to my eldest son, anyway.
These days we are teenagers; we are not little kids any more. We want our birthday parties to be "chill" and "lit". (Oldie speak = "cool" and "legit" - I think???)

Last weekend I managed to pull off a pretty "lit" party quite successfully, without embarrassing my brand-new 14-year-old - and it was really easy. Here's what ya do...

09 November 2016

What Kids Learn from Having a Dog

What kids learn from Having a Dog

In just four short months our rescue puppy, Clyde, has turned us into a bunch of fully converted Dog People. Of course the kids had been begging for us to become a Dog Family for donkey's years, but I had taken some convincing, because I'd heard the rumours.
Dogs are lots of work. They stink, they shed hair, they chew everything, they pee and poop everywhere, they eat you out of house and home. Having a puppy is the same amount of work as having a newborn; having a dog is like having another kid.

Being your quintessential Lazy Mother, I was extremely reluctant to sign up for extra work. I mean, I already had my hands full with three human children.
Who needs the extra job of picking up poop and bathing a dog when it's all you can do to keep your boys regularly showering and your toilet floor a urine-free zone.
Am I right?
Having a dog sounded like sooooo much work.

But then we got Clyde. In some kind of weird fit of intuition, I had a gut feeling that a puppy was just what the kids needed to help them get through a tough time.
It seemed counter-intuitive, and plenty of people thought I really had finally gone crazy taking on extra work in the middle of a crisis, but I turned out to be right on the money with this one.

09 October 2016

Taking Stock (cos that's what i do when i've got writers block)

Cheerleading on the beach - Mission Bay Auckland, NZ

I really thought that when I got the giant boulder-sized "elephant in the room" blog post out of the way, my writer's wellspring would unblock and the stories would flow once more. I guess I was wrong about that.

Sometimes there's just so much going on that the thought of finding a way to write it all down in a manner which is honest, heartfelt, but lighthearted - yet also manages to avoid upsetting half the people in my life - well, it's just too exhausting. Consequently, I still seem to have a rather insidious case of writers block.

But I can't go wrong with a list, right? A summary of recent happenings and photos from the past few weeks? It's either that or I blurt out my angst about the upcoming Silly Season and how much I'm dreading it with a capital D. That could be awkward.

So here goes with some taking stock instead. The last few weeks I've been...

23 September 2016

Me & My Girl: That Time We Went to Hawaii

Hawaii - a beautiful palmtreed sunset poolside cliche come true

Is this what you think of when you think of Hawaii? Poolside at sunset with palms gently waving in the breeze? In that case, Hawaii did not disappoint us.
After all those months of fundraising - hosting tea parties, pop-up cafes and garage sales - me and my girl were finally off on our Hawaiian adventure with her Cheerleading team, to compete at the inaugural Global Dance and Cheer Games.

Here we are at the airport on the night we flew out, excited as can be...

14 September 2016

Twists & Turns on the Rollercoaster

Huia Wharf, West Coast New Zealand

Ahhh Life. We never know what it'll throw at us.

I read a guest post on Ann Voscamp's blog the other day which really resonated with me, called "When you're living a life you didn't choose". That happens sometimes - we end up in a life that wasn't what we hoped/dreamed/planned.
We have a dream for the life we want to live, and then it isn't.
Life throws us a curveball. There's an unexpected twist in the rollercoaster. And oh help, here we go again on another not-so-great-fun adventure.

Right now you could say that I'm living a life I didn't choose - in so far as I never in my wildest dreams (or nightmares) would have imagined that my marriage would end after 15 years of trying.
But, yep, there it is.
I've been separated and sole-parenting for over three months now.
That's the twist my life's rollercoaster has taken me on.

31 August 2016

O August Where Did You Go?

I had the best of intentions, I really did.
This was going to be more than a one-post blogging month.
I started well, didn't I? Blogging on the very first day of August? It was a good post too, that lonely August birthday party post.
It was meant to be joined by others, at least three more.
Yet here I sit, late on the 31st, and that one post was all I managed.