Thanks for stopping by. Mummy Mayhem is no longer updated. I now have a new, albeit smaller blog over at www.jodieansted.blogspot.com.au.

Drop by anytime. :)


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My First Ever Vlog: Pick Up Lines

The Top 100 Baby Names

The other day, Kidspot listed the Top 100 baby names in Australia.

Choosing your child's name isn't easy. Everyone has their specific requirements for a name. My friend, T, wanted "strong" names for her boys. ie anything with one syllable, basically. For example, the name 'Daniel' would not be a choice for her, but 'Dan' might be.

Some choose a name that's popular because they don't want their child teased for being called Pilot Inspektor or Daisy Boo (both actual names given to celebrity kids). Some choose these completely whacky unique names because they want their kids to be teased different to everyone else and stand out. Sometimes, that can be a good thing. Sometimes....not so much.

With Hubby and I, we didn't really want a popular name for our kids. Basically Jodie was one of the most popular girls' names in the 70s. At least, it felt that way. At one point, there were probably five Jodie's in my primary school class alone. Well ok, that's maybe a slight exaggeration, but there was definitely three of us at one point. I really didn't like that my name was like so many others'.

Hubby grew up with a name that wasn't mainstream (but is now!) and he kind of liked that. There was certainly no confusion as to who his teacher was talking to when she called his name.

Having said that, since choosing our first son's name (which isn't actually 'the 8yo' in case you weren't certain about that ;) ) it has become more popular. It's on Kidspot's Top 100 Baby Names list, in fact. The other two though...nowhere to be found. However, the 6yo was rather disappointed at the beginning of this year when he found out another boy with his name was starting school in Kindy. (To be honest, we were very surprised. It's not a name you hear often at all.) The 6yo loves that he's different, and by far, his name is the one that most people make positive comments on. Add to that his flock of 'orange' hair (as he likes to describe it) and his bright blue eyes and BINGO - he feels special. 

When I told him about the boy with his name, he looked up at me and asked quite nervously, "He doesn't have orange hair, does he?" Funnily enough, the other boy is the complete opposite to the 6yo as he has dark hair, eyes and skin.

Our boys' names aren't kooky; just a little different, and we like it like that.

If we'd had a girl, my main priority with choosing a girl's name was not only that it not be mainstream (like mine) but that it wasn't, well, too 'girly'. Growing up with a girly name, I'll be honest when I say I still feel kind of strange now introducing myself at the age of 40 with what I feel is a little girl's name. In fact, seeing that there is absolutely no plan to have any more children, I can tell you that had we had a girl, we would have named her Greta. To me, the name was appropriate for a little girl, but also for a woman. I mean, name choice can be important later on in life, don't you think? Imagine, for example, you're a big, hot-shot lawyer and you walk in to a boardroom to introduce yourself and you have to say, "Hi, my name is Petal Ansted." I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work for me.

But I guess that's the point. It's all a matter of personal opinion, isn't it?

Do you like your name? If not, and you could change it, what would you change it to? How did you choose your kids' names? Why did you choose the names you did?


Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy 85th Birthday Dad

Today is my Dad's 85th birthday.

Growing up, my Dad always said that the best birthday gift he'd ever received was me. I was born just 9 days before Dad's 45th birthday. He was incredibly excited about my arrival. In fact, anything to do with his girls filled him with joy. 

Not long after I was born, my Mum got sick, and so it was up to Dad to care for me. He tells the story about the time he placed me on the couch cushions that he had placed on the floor whilst warming a bottle of milk for me. Suddenly, he heard an almighty, "WAAAAH!" and ran in to find that I'd rolled off the cushions on to the floor. 

Mum says that, being deaf in one ear (he lost his hearing at a fairly young age after he contracted the mumps) he hadn't heard my sisters during the night when they were born, but with me, he had gotten up without fail. (You know, I think Hubby has selective deafness when it comes to getting up to the kids during the night. ;) )

Dad didn't have the easiest childhood. He was born and grew up in Albany, south of Perth. His Mum never left hospital after his birth, and died just six weeks after he was born. Both Mum and Dad can't recall from what (their memory isn't what it used to be), but Mum thinks it was cancer. In any case, losing a Mum at such a young age couldn't have been easy.

At 14, Dad left school to work full time on a farm. It was hard, very physical work, but the intensity of the lifestyle would no doubt make my Dad the fit person he always was and remains today. (The family bought him a bike for his 70th because he was getting around on my old Indi 500 at the time, and then Hubby and I bought him another road bike for his 80th birthday. He used to ride 10klms every day, but has since given the bike riding up.) 

At 18, he joined the Royal Australian Air Force (the RAAF). He didn't fly planes (I don't think he could because of his deafness), but he worked on them instead. It was during World War II, on a visit to the mining town (now city) of Kalgoorlie that he met my mother. She was working in a milk bar at the time. He offered her some chewing gum and walked her home. When separated by distance, Dad wrote to my Mum every day. Except the one time he was ill, and had a friend write on his behalf instead. 

The rest, as they say, is history.

Some of the relationships Dad had with his siblings who were born after his father remarried have been close, and some have not. Pretty much, Mum, my sisters and I became his focus. He'd have done/ would do anything for us. Dad has always said how proud he was of his three girls, so you can imagine how devastating it must have been for him when my sister, Valda, died at age 17 (when I was still a baby). 

Yet, he and Mum supported one another through my sister's death and he has been a very loving husband and father. 

It was Dad who taught me how to ride my first bike, and then (much) later, a car. It was Dad who built me my gorgeous childhood cubby house. It was Dad who hung a tyre on a rope as a makeshift swing for me. It was Dad who taught me how to dance at my cousin's wedding. It was Dad who comforted me when Mum was in hospital when I was a child, and who didn't complain when I asked him to play - for the millionth time - 'the hungry crab' (he would use his fingers as a crab and try to grab mine, which I would pull away to avoid being 'snapped'). It was Dad who worked to ensure my Mum could stay home with me, and I could have what I needed. It was Dad who, after receiving my call at 2am in the morning one night when I was in my early 20s because my car wouldn't start, came without complaint and drove me home. 

I could go on and on and on...

But instead, I'll say...Happy Birthday Dad. I love you.



Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Dance of Revenge - Chapter One, Part I

When I was 14, I decided to write a book.

I think I was spurred on by the fact that I had written a pretty good 'novella' in my Year 9 english class the year before. It was called "Sailing Towards The Right Choice" and it was very much inspired by my love of Sweet Dream romance novels at the time. You know... girl meets boy, girl moves overseas and breaks up with boy, girl meets new boy, drama happens and girl breaks up with boy....that sort of thing. Anyway, I'd always enjoyed writing fiction back then (and since primary school), so I just thought....why not? I'll write a book. (As you do. Hmph!)

But I figured I had to up the ante a big. Move away from the 'teen romance' and get in to some adult type drama. I sat down and worked out a storyline (very much inspired by an old television series at the time called "Return to Eden") and started writing. The concept was interesting seeing that:

a) The main character is French and lives in France - The only french I knew was what I had learnt during one year in primary school. I could pretty much say "hello", ask "how are you?" and name a number of various fruits and vegetables and that's pretty much it. Besides that, I'd never set foot in France, let alone out of Australia at the time.

b) The main character studies ballet - I had never taken a ballet lesson myself, nor had I even seen a ballet production. 

c) There were sex scenes in the book - I was 14 when I wrote it, and wasn't even close to having sex myself. All that I wrote I'd either read in a Danielle Steele book or seen on tv.

I found my 'book' recently. Unfinished, but amazingly to me - 77 typewritten pages long! I started to read it, and I admit I shifted very uncomfortably in my seat. I wanted to correct a thousand things. And then I started to laugh. The story is not a comedy. Far from it. But it was the naivety in which I wrote, and the fact that at times my sentences just didn't make sense and there were some real corkers spelling wise (although, mostly I thought my spelling was pretty good)!

And you know what? I decided that I couldn't help but share. Why the hell not? I actually do want to keep this book for the rest of my life. What a trip. And what if something happened to the original? And so, here I am...typing it for both me, and (why the hell not) you. 

And so, every Sunday evening until I finish the 77 pages, I'll be posting a little of the book. 

Just quickly...the plot...

Sherrie is a fourteen year-old girl who studies ballet. Her mother marries a man that Sherrie doesn't like - for good reason - although she can't tell her mother why. Then she is told, in order to save money, she must give up her love of the ballet, and then a major accident occurs and Sherrie is separated from her mother and new stepfather. She has no recollection of the accident and she has no idea who she is. Has foul play been involved, and if so, will she find out and seek revenge? 

Intrigued? Yes? Ok, maybe not. But anyway, have a read. Be prepared to have a giggle. You'll notice I've made comments [in brackets and in red like this] whenever I want to note something. I've had to try very hard not to make amendments! It just wouldn't be the same if the original form is altered. 

Enjoy. Be kind. The author was very young at the time! ;)

Chapter One
Part I

Mrs Elizabeth Dolty stood in the doorway of the attic watching her fourteen year-old daughter do a series of leaps across the hard wooden floor. Her daughter’s grace and admiration of the ballet showed clearly as she danced, in her pink tutu, to the magnificent music of Swan Lake. [Clearly the only ballet I knew of without doing any research.]

Elizabeth thought that her daughter Sherrie was much like the country they lived in, France. Its beauty and romantic atmosphere could charm any person. [Cos….thats all I knew about France.] Sherrie had these gifts that proved her so sweet. Young men of her age group loved her the way in which Sherrie loved the ballet.

Sherrie’s slim and delicate body made two, three then four Pliés. [I had a book on ballet – no idea where I got it from – and just copied the dance movements from that. ;) ] She touched Elizabeth’s heart with her coordination. Sherrie’s long, golden hair flowed over her shoulder as she performed an arabesque penchée. She held her position until she caught sight of her mother’s beautiful body resting against the doorway. She stopped her dancing and moved towards the record player. She switched off the music and proceeded to wipe her brow with the towel that lay close to the record player. [Hmmm…bit repetitive, huh?]

“Hello mother,” she murmered. Her silky voice echoed the room. “Where’s lover boy?” she asked, sarcastically. Elizabeth knew who her daughter was talking about. [Well…you would hope so!] For she knew that Sherrie did not like Adam Brair. Her lover. [Just confirming they were, you know, ‘lovers’.] She sighed in disappointment. Why couldn’t her daughter like Adam? He was such a nice man. He was also a wonderful lover. He whispered sweet words in her ear when they made love and gently caressed her neck as he did. [Even though it reads that way, I’m quite sure my intention was not to make out that Sherrie should like her mother’s lover because he was good in bed. Pfffft.]

“He’s out,” she replied blankly. She watched her daughter relax and begin to walk towards her. Sherrie threw her arms around her mother.

“I’m sorry, mama. I did not mean to sound unpleasant.” Her mother hugged her back and sighed.

“Why can’t you like him, Sherrie?” Elizabeth pleaded. Sherrie became stiff and her face clouded over unpleasantly.

“We’ve been through this before mother. I thought you understood how I felt.” Her voice was angry and harsh. Her deep brown eyes took on an icy look. No, Elizabeth did not understand why Sherrie didn’t like Adam. He had only been nice and generous to her ever since Sherrie first met him.

“Sherrie, we need to talk about Adam and---,” Elizabeth’s voice trailed off. Sherrie looked at her with immediate alarm.

“You?” Sherrie asked feebly. Elizabeth drew in her breath awkwardly.

“Well…yes. Adam and I, and also you. Sit down over here with me, precious.” Elizabeth pointed her delicate hand towards the old wooden bench she had moved in to the attic the first day her and Sherrie had moved into the lovely and simple cottage. [A simple cottage with an attic big enough for a dance studio? Shows what little I knew about real estate back then. In France!]

Sherrie moved reluctantly over towards the bench. Her hands trembled, and so did her lower lip. A habit she had always had. When she sat down with her mother, Elizabeth noticed she looked terrified. Just like the day Sherrie had been bitten by a spider that had crawled in to her bed. Sherrie was in shock, her lip trembled along with her hands, and her eyes took on a shine of sheer terror.

Now looking at her daughter, Elizabeth noticed the same distinct way she acted. Sherrie had only been three then. Now she was fourteen. Her breasts had developed more fully [unlike mine at the same age…ahem], and her body began to take on more serious curves [ah, once again…unlike mine]. She had started her period just the month before last. [Ah, no comment on that one, thank you very much.] She was changing. She was growing. Elizabeth picked up her daughter’s soft, graceful hand and squeezed it softly. But Sherrie was not in the mood to feel comforted. She withdrew her hand and began to play with the ring on her middle-right finger. The ring had been a gift from her grandmother.

“Sherrie,” Elizabeth began, “please listen to what I have to say.” Sherrie played more with the ring. Another annoying habit. “Stop that ma fille.” Elizabeth spoke French this time. [Duh.] Something she did when she became annoyed or upset. [Why? She was French and living in France, right?] Sherrie obeyed and looked away from her mother’s face.

“Say what you must,” Sherrie whispered. Elizabeth sighed with relief.

“Ah, Sherrie. I love you so dearly. I am doing something that is good for both you and me.” She smiled, but Sherrie did not. Elizabeth was not discouraged by this. Her daughter would thank her for this one day. Elizabeth and Sherrie were not exactly financially well off. They had small problems with rent money and food bills. But all that would change. Elizabeth was sure of it now.

Elizabeth looked at her pretty daughter. Please understand, she begged silently to herself.

“Sherrie, look at me,” she begged with her daughter. Sherrie obeyed. “That’s much better. Now my darling, I will tell you my news.” Sherrie blinked and swallowed nervously.

“News?” she asked, her voice a little squeaky.

“Yes my love. News. Good news.” Elizabeth paused and drew her breath inwardly. “Adam and I are to be married.”

She watched her daughter’s eyes widen in horror. Then her lip began to tremble and she began to sob openly. Elizabeth went to throw her arms around Sherrie, but Sherrie just threw her arms away.

“Don’t touch me!” she sobbed. “Don’t touch me you…you BITCH! I hate you! I HATE YOU! How could you do this?!” She collapsed on the woolen rug near the window and sobbed loudly. Elizabeth, shocked, stood up uneasily. Her legs shaked. [Or shook. Whatever.] Never in her life had her own daughter called her a…a bitch! Never did she think her daughter could use harsh words as she did then.

“Sherrie,” her words came out unevenly. “Sherrie, Adam loves you. He loves me.” Her words tingled in the dark room. [Never heard of words ‘tingling’ before, have you?] “I love him.” Sherrie looked up from the rug, her eyes red and swollen. “He’s going to help us financially too.” Elizabeth tried desperately to get through to her daughter. “He wants so much to be accepted by you. It means a lot to him.” Sherrie’s eyes widened then lowered in anger.

“Like hell he does,” she hissed angrily. “All he cares about is himself! I hate him and I hate you for wanting to marry a creep and vulgar person such as Mr BRAIR!!”

Elizabeth became angry and hurt at her daughter’s words. She raised her hand and slapped Sherrie fully on her left cheek. Sherrie flung back her head and screamed. She screamed and screamed. Each scream more hysterically [or hysterical] than the first. Elizabeth stood in shock at what she had just done to Sherrie. The daughter she loved so dearly. She threw her arms around her daughter’s delicate shoulders. Sherrie sobbed on her mother’s chest. Elizabeth cried on Sherrie’s head.

“Please don’t hate me Sherrie,” she pleaded with her daughter. “Please don’t resent me for loving Adam.” Sherrie looked into her mother’s blue-grey eyes with sincerity.

“I do not hate you, mother. I only wish that…he didn’t come in to our lives.” Her eyes searched Elizabeth’s. But her mother shook her head.

“But he did ma fille,” she explained. They sat and rocked backwards and forwards until Elizabeth got up to leave Sherrie alone. Elizabeth looked at her daughter staring out the window and half smiled. They would work it out. Adam would help her.

So next week, find out why Sherries doesn't like her stepfather-to-be, Adam. Let's just say...he's not a very nice man. ;) 

Until next week....


Friday, September 24, 2010

Hot or Not? Ronan Keating

I'm keeping the weekly Hot or Not fairly simple from now on. 

Last week, I had such little time to prepare Hot or Not, but then I figured later that it had worked out quite nicely being more about the person that all my jibber jabber anyway! After all, Hot or Not really is a visual kind of post, don't you think?

Therefore, each week I'll give you a little rundown on how last week's went, then just launch straight in to it. Fair enough?

Ok, so last week, Ewan McGregor certainly got some pulses racing. Seems he's the right balance of ruggedness and loveliness. ;) Lots of "Hot" votes!

This week's choice is Ronan Keating. I've caught a few episodes of the X-Factor on Channel 7 lately where he sits in as a judge, and figured I'd see what ya'll think of this Irish, singing lad?

Just to reminisce...here's an oldie but a goodie...

Ronan Keating....Hot, or not


On Mummy Mayhem This Week

Thought I'd do this every Friday morning, just in case you missed a post and wanna know what was going on around here this week. (Don't worry - Hot or Not will be here a little later on today. ;) )

Hot or Not? Ewan McGregor - Last week's Hot or Not choice! View here

40 - I turned 40 last weekend. Take a look inside the party and see what music we listened to, what food we ate, what gifts I received and how I scrubbed up for the night! View here

The Gift of a Mother's Hindsight - For Tina and Ami - If you're a mum, what advice would you have given yourself if you'd known what you do now? (View a gorgeous video.) Also, help my niece, Tina - pregnant with her first bub - relieve some of the anxiety she's been experiencing about what to buy for bubs by suggesting what she needs...and doesn't. View here.

Facing The Fear - Most of us fear something. Including me. Read about my fear of flying, and tell me what's your fear and how you cope with it. View here

Oh, and don't forget...if you have a problem you need advice on, or an idea you'd like some feedback on, why not use Ask Mummy Mayhem and we'll put it to the Mummy Mayhem community? Go here for details, or just check the homepage. (You can choose not to have your name published if you like. Your secret is safe with me. ;) ) 

Happy reading!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Facing The Fear

Here’s something you might not know about me.

Once upon a time, I was very, very afraid of flying. To the point of not being able to barely function during a flight, and even often resorting to taking some sort of (legal) relaxant beforehand.

My first ever flight was in 1991, just before my 21st birthday. I was flying to England with my friend, Jacqui, in preparation for a Contiki tour through Europe (one of those 6-countries-in-14-days type ones), followed by a driving holiday around the UK. I was a little nervous about the flight – the fear of the unknown and all that – but I LOVED it. I still remember that first take-off. The excitement I felt as the plane sped along the runway, and then the feeling of being pushed back in to my seat as we climbed towards the clouds. I think I may have even squealed in delight - so excited and relaxed was I.

However, the following year I flew to Sydney (I was living in Perth at the time), and the flight there was fine, but it was the return journey from my week-long stay where my fear of flying began.

Because of the head winds usually experienced flying from Sydney to Perth, it can sometimes get a bit bumpy. And bumpy it most certainly was. During some turbulence, I started to feel very uneasy. I was traveling by myself this time, so I had no one to talk to about it, or hold hands nervously with, and so I turned to the flight attendant for reassurance. “It’s a bit bumpy, isn’t it?” I asked, smiling nervously. “Is that normal?”

“Yes,” she replied. “It’s kind of like when a car goes over a bump in the road. Same thing.”

“Of course,” I agreed, quite satisfied by her response, but still needing further reassurance. “But it still worries me. It just doesn’t feel right.”

Leaning down, she moved her head closer to mine, and said, “I know. I’ve been doing these flights for years, and it still makes me nervous. I don’t like it much either.”

Ah – wrong answer, lady.

Let me say on behalf of all passengers out there, that flight attendants should never admit to any anxiety of their own to their nervous passengers. (Nor should captains suddenly come on the intercom mid-flight and announce abruptly, "Could all flight attendants be seated and secure their seatbelts," WITHOUT AN EXPLANATION!) Not surprisingly, it won’t make your passengers feel any better.

And so, after that, I became a bit of a basket case when it came to flying.

There was the flight to Bali with three girlfriends back in early 1993. We were flying with a particular airline that didn’t have the best track record safety-wise. Some pals of my husband (then my very new boyfriend at the time) kept telling me the night before the airline wasn’t the safest in the world. Hubby’s friend, S, said, “You know they printed t-shirts, don’t you, that say, ‘I flew [Airline] and survived’?” No, I didn’t. But, gee – thanks for letting me know.

On the return flight from Bali I was worse than on the way there. We were upgraded to Business Class for that flight, and I couldn’t – not even for a second – enjoy that. I was sitting next to my friend, Teresa. I had her pray with me. I was so jumpy and freaking out, that she later told me she seriously considered slapping my face to calm me down.

A couple of years later, Hubby and I would move to Sydney from Perth. This, of course, meant even more flights back and forth. Back then, we used to get a couple of free Business Class flights each year back to Perth to visit family (part of Hubby’s package). In those days, interstate flights had First Class seats, and we would often find ourselves upgraded. Hubby loved it. As the fancy food and wine came around, he would sit with a huge smile on his face and indulge in all of it. (Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode when Elaine got stuck in economy, and Jerry traveled in business and when asked if he’d like something, he replied, “We’ll have more of everything!”) Hubby enjoyed every second of his flight. Me on the other hand? Not so much. I would refuse the food, lift my feet off the floor (I couldn’t stand the vibration of the airplane's engines on my feet) and pop earplugs in, or at the very least, wear the headphones and ‘watch’ a movie (rather unsuccessfully – I was too worried about what was going on around me) to drown out the engine noise.
I couldn’t stand the constant changing of sounds of the engines either, and every time the engines made a slightly different noise, I would hold my breath, convinced the plane was about to start diving towards the ground. I would search all the other passenger’s faces. Were they freaking out? Then I’d check the flight attendants. Were they exchanging concerned looks? To be honest, the answer was always ‘no’.

In 1996, I prepared to fly back to Perth on my own on Easter Saturday (Hubby had to go back earlier to have his wisdom teeth removed, and I had work commitments). I was as nervous as hell. I was telling an ex-Ansett airlines flight attendant about my fear of flying the week before my trip, and it was she who suggested I ask to view the cockpit. “Some say it really helps with their fear to see how things work. They’re always happy to help.” (Of course, this was back in the good old days pre-911).

So, during that flight, I nervously explained to a flight attendant my fear of flying and asked if it was possible to visit the cockpit? He was gorgeous – he smiled brightly and assured me it could be done.

Sure enough, about 45 minutes before the flight was due to land, he collected me and took me to the cockpit. I walked in shyly and the Captain and Co-pilot greeted me warmly. It was bright and sunny and very quiet in there and, of course, they were both so relaxed and calm. (As you would hope!) I sat down in a spare seat behind them, and immediately noticed all the different lights and buttons everywhere. “Wow,” I commented, “there are so many lights and switches and the like in here.” “Yeah,” the captain replied, and then with a straight face added, “and we used to know what they all did once upon a time.” We all laughed, and that was it. I was relaxed.

They explained about turbulence and how normal it was, and then to my astonishment, they asked if I would like to land in the cockpit with them?

You might be surprised to hear, having read above about my fear, that I didn’t hesitate to say, “Yes, please.”

It was great. They gave me my own headset so I could hear everything that was exchanged with air traffic control and we made an exceptionally smooth landing. When the plane pulled up to the terminal, the Captain encouraged me to stick my hand out the front window of the plane and wave to Hubby and my parents who were standing behind the large glass windows in the terminal. I tell you – everyone – in the terminal started waving back – except my folks and Hubby! (They couldn’t see my face and Hubby assumed I was an overly excited flight attendant.)

After that, I wouldn’t say I became the most relaxed flyer around, but I became far less concerned with flying. Having kids, I had to become the person to assure my children that flying was safe and fun and easy, and I found that I became even calmer during the process.

However, when I recently flew home from Melbourne with my friend Jen, we experienced probably one of the bumpiest plane rides I have ever been on. I was gripping the armrest so hard, my knuckles were white, and I was pushing with my other hand against the seat in front of me – so much so that the passenger turned around to see what was going on.

Jen was great. She patted my arm and squeezed my hand and reassured me, and of course, we made it down safely. However, it’s left me wondering how I’ll go on my next plane journey? I really thought I had pretty much conquered my fear of flying, but now I’m not so sure.

Funnily enough, Hubby used to tell me that my fear of flying was irrational. “Think of all the planes that fly every day,” he would say. Now it’s he who isn’t comfortable with flying. Having taken so many flights over the years with work, like many of his colleagues and friends who do similar jobs, he now can't help but think, “It’s only a matter of time.” Great.

Fear is a basic survival response – whether it seem justifiable or not. I think most people have a fear of something, whether it be flying, going to the dentist, heights, spiders or even committed relationships.

Do you have a fear? If so, what is it, and how do you deal with it?


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Gift of a Mother's Hindsight: For Tina and Ami

If you're a Mum, what advice would you have given yourself when pregnant with your first child, now knowing what you do, and what would you recommend a first time (rather overwhelmed) mum buy for her new baby?

I originally saw this video on Mamamia. Immediately, I thought of my niece, Tina (my age), who is pregnant with her first child, and my lovely bloggy friend, Ami from Puff Pieces - also pregnant with her first baby (little Tic Tac). 

This video was made by Nummies Nursing Bras who asked a bunch of mothers to give their reflections on motherhood, and here's what they came up with:

I get choked up every time I watch it. 

My advice? It really is true when people tell you to "sleep when the baby sleeps." I didn't, and I regretted it with my first. Don't worry about the housework. Get that take-out meal if you need to. Enjoy your baby!

Turns out, my niece is also a little overwhelmed with all the baby stuff out there on the market. She's feeling rather anxious about which pram to buy (I think she wants a jogger pram, as she'd like to go running when bubs is born - she's just not sure which one) and, in fact, is not sure what stuff she needs at all! I thought you might all be able to help with this one. Perhaps, if you've had a baby, you could make a suggestion of something great to buy, as well as something you think is not worth the money. 

I'll go first...I think a baby monitor is great. We used the Angelcare heart rate monitor. When the 8yo moved from our room to the nursery, I was nervous because he used to bring up his milk, and I was paranoid he'd choke on it. Having the monitor gave me great comfort to know that if he stopped breathing, I would know about it. These monitors make some people more nervous, but I found it such a big comfort, the other two boys went straight in to the nursery after being born (and hence, I slept better as well)!

And a waste of money? Those machines that warm up the baby wipes. Sheesh. If you're that worried, warm them up in your hands. In my opinion, you may as well flush your cash down the toilet with that one. ;)

And now, over to you....what should Tina buy, and what shouldn't she?


Monday, September 20, 2010

The Big Night

So I turned 40. It was an amazing day. And night. ;)

All of Saturday was pretty relaxing. I had a number of text messages from friends wishing me well, and some beautiful b'day messages on Twitter! Then I mostly pottered around the house with the kids before heading out to the hair salon to spend close to three hours reading trashy magazines having my tresses tended to. My new hair stylist, Karen, and I had a great chat about the whole process of getting ready for just. one. night. Exhausting! Karen and I had the same thought: why would you want to do this all the time? I'm just not up to it on a regular basis, but it was kinda fun for one special night. ;)

Then it was off to the venue to blow up 100 balloons with helium. Unfortunately, the party shop didn't have clips, so I had to hand tie the balloons, resulting in a birthday preparations type injury - taking skin off my finger in the process! Ah - the things we do.

Then we raced home, Hubby fed the boys (incredibly nutritious hot dogs - ahem) and we frocked up.

Here's the pic I posted on Twitter as I was about to leave...

As we took off in the car, I experienced a wardrobe malfunction. Well, an accessories one. Don't panic - it wasn't a la Janet Jackson style. ;)  The new silver earrings I had bought especially for the occasion broke, and Hubby had to turn the car around and head home so I could replace them (after suggesting that perhaps I could go without earrings...pffft...yeah, right).

Raced inside, picked up some hoops, jumped back in the car, got down the road about 100 metres and realised that I had two different hoop earrings. Uh-oh. Hubby didn't say much when I told him we had to turn back. Again. This time, I made sure I grabbed two pairs and we were finally on our way.

When we got there, Hubby dropped me off so I could set up and he could find a car space. We took our own iPod and here's the music list...

I threw it together so quickly from various playlists on my iPod, as well as downloaded a few newbies on the day. One of the best compliments I received on the night was from one of our 20-something-yr-old waitresses who said that she was really enjoying my music and a lot of the songs were her favourites. Yep. A cooool 40 yr old woman. ;)

I also put together a photo board with pics of me from a newborn up until my recent trip to Melbourne with friends. Here's some of the pics from the board...

Guest dined on the following:

  • Baby Whiting with Homemade Tartar Sauce
  • Spring Rolls
  • Sushi
  • Mini Gourmet Pies
  • Mini Quiche
  • Mixed Olive Bread
  • Selection of Gourmet Pizza

We also had champagne, white wine, beer and red wine (although none of the red was consumed in the end). Then we had cake. Unfortunately, we didn't get a proper pic of the cake until it was already cut and the candles removed! But here's one that shows it a little...

In fact, we didn't take photos until well in to the night - we were just so busy mingling! - but I did manage to get a pic with my beautiful friend, Jen before she left for the evening (she stayed until after 10.30pm, but she was running the Sydney half marathon the next day with her Hubby, which she ran in 2 hours and 8 minutes I might add! Well done, hon)!

I wish I'd gotten a photo with my friend, Mardi as well, although I'm not sure how she'd feel about me posting it - I'd have to ask her! Both Mardi and Jen are my bestest girlfriends because they are the most supportive, encouraging, caring and fun friends. They are completely reliable and trustworthy and I feel very lucky to have them in my life. 

Mardi (and her Hubby) bought me the most gorgeous nightie...can't wait to wear it...

And Jen, together with a bunch of my girlfriends: Fiona, Susie, Tash, Liz, Angela, Mary, Jo, Michele & Kate (and all their gorgeous Hubbies!) bought me this...

I've only wanted a Pandora bracelet for, like, FOREVER! Thanks again lovely ladies...xxx

Another person I'm fortunate to have in my life, apart from my gorgeous 3 boys of course, is my husband...or Hubby, as you know him. Not only did he buy me an amazing gift to mark this special occasion (which I took with me and everyone admired on the night), but he's always out to make me happy and he really is the LOML. He took these pics of me at the end of the night, just after midnight, after all the guests had left. I look kind of drunk - but I only had 4 small champers! half asleep in the first one and I have NO IDEA what I'm doing in the second. Winking perhaps? Yes, let's go with that. 

Think I had better practice my photo stance, huh?

Anyway, it 'twas a fun, fun, FUN night. 

The next day, my gorgeous three boys made me this cake and decorated it (we didn't really have time on Saturday). They even did the icing themselves. Yep. Regular little Masterchefs my boys...

Anyway...that's it for another....10 years I imagine. Hope to see you here on my 50th...God willing...