School Holiday Survival Skills 101

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Across Australia the yearly migration of school aged children is taking place. This migration occurs over a six to seven week time period and takes on the form of a pilgrimage, where the children transition from one school grade to another. The pilgrimage has often been denoted by excessive whingeing, demands for food and excruciating periods of perceived boredom.

The flow on effect to the parents of these migrating creatures is visible to the keen observer. They display increased anxiety, have a general haggard appearance, often wear mis-matched clothing, and in extreme cases resort to excessive consumption of alcohol.

After many years of studying this natural phenomenon I have compiled a list of some techniques that can make the migration easier on both parents, and offspring.

The underlying concept of these technique is to maintain some semblance of the school-year routine.

Parents can go about their usual morning routine of preparing the day’s food allocation, packing it in the school lunch box as they normally would and setting a timer to remind them, and the offspring, when it is time to eat. All calls (aka nagging) for food outside of these times should be ignored.

Freedom is often a curse in human offspring and when left to their own devices for too lengthy a period anxiety sets in and neurotic behaviours ensue, so clear, defined parameters for activities may be required, including but not limited to, tasks only being allowed during specific time periods throughout the day.

This migration period is frequently marred by sudden outbreaks of the “I’m bored” illness. Should such an outbreak occur in your herd it can be dealt with swiftly by administering an antibiotic strength dose of “Housework”. Empirical evidence has shown that even the most resistant strain of the “I’m bored” illness will eventually be annihilated if you apply enough “housework”.

Most herds find the impact of the migration period can be considerably diminished with the implementation of these simple techniques, making for a happier population.

Should you have any further ideas or insights gleaned from your own observations that would be of benefit to the herd please feel free to share in the comments.

Good luck and may patience be with you.

xA

Woodbridge Riverside Play Space – Woodbridge / Guildford WA

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If you check out my tag ‘Parks and Recreation’ you will soon see that I like to hang out at parks with he little people aka my kids. So since it is school holidays here in WA and a lot of you are probably ready to climb the walls getting outside could be a good idea.

So here is a play space that you may not have heard of or visited yet. The Woodbridge Riverside Play Space is great fun and a fabulous location for a family outing. Situated on the banks of the (upper) Swan River it has loads of amenities. Toilets, seating, under covered areas, BBQ outside the play space, paths for bikes and skating, wheelchair swing, and best of all (according to my husband) fishing.

Here are some photos I took on a very sunny day to give you an idea.

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Where you are likely to hear, “Higher Daddy higher”.

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Swings for the smaller kids too.

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The pirate ship

Rocks from side to side with plenty of room for a gaggle of kids.

Rocks from side to side with plenty of room for a gaggle of kids.

Bins, drinking water, seating.

Bins, drinking water, seating.

Learning opportunity.

Learning opportunity.

Wheelchair swing

Wheelchair swing (river and BBQ in the background).

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Tunnel fun

More tunnel fun

More tunnel fun

Peek holes for the super spy kids.

Peek holes for the super spy kids.

The rope swing - loads of fun.

The rope swing – loads of fun.

Looking toward the entrance from within the play space.

Looking toward the entrance from within the play space.

Close-up of the rope swing.

Close-up of the rope swing.

Dual flying fox. One lane has a stap-in high-backed seat.

Dual flying fox. One lane has a strap-in high-backed seat.

Water play

Water play

Mining

Mining

Near he entrance, looking toward the toilets.

Near the entrance, looking toward the toilets.

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Solar powered bins.

MAP - sorry about the shadow.

MAP – sorry about the shadow.

Now how to get there. The play space is located near the old Woodbridge House and Guildford College. MAP LINK HERE. Hope you get to enjoy a visit.

xA

Baby Name Inspiration.

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Let’s talk about baby names.

There are those of us who derive much enjoyment from discussing and dissecting name choices. The fun the flirty, the funky the fierce and sometimes the farcical. One source of names that I have derived much enjoyment from over the years is the magazine Shop 4 Kids.

The pint sized models that grace it’s pages offer a veritable well of name possibilities. So I have spent my time wisely and trawled back through the pages of sixteen issues and compiled a name list.

When you peruse the list you will notice I have not specified if the names are female or male and that is primarily due to the fact that MANY of them have been used for both sexes.

Happy reading and let me know if any tickle your fancy (perhaps you are on the hunt for inspiration for an impending arrival).

xA


Aamna
Ace
Addison
Akira
Aleeyah
Allegra
Amaya
Amia
Amity
Anais
Anderson
Angelene
Angus
Aniken
Anouk
Anoushka
Anselm
Araya
Archer
Ariela
Aston
August
Aurelia
Barnaby
Baxter
Beatrix
Benah
Bo
Brax
Brianna
Bronte
Cash
Casper
Charlee
Charlize
Che
Chelsea
Coco
Costa
Dakoa
Daphne
Dash
Dee Dee
Delany
Demi
Didier
Dillon
Dusty
Ebony
Eleni
Elodie
Elora
Elsa
Elwood
Emerson
Emrys
Felix
Fifi
Finn
Fionn
Gala
Gard
Gethan
Gideon
Ginger
Gypsy
Harley
Harlyn
Harper
Harris
Harrison
Hemi
Hudson
Iggy
Ike
Inara
Indhi
Indi
India
Indiana
Indigo
Isla
Ivy
Jagger
Jai
Jamie
Jasper
Jatali
Jax
Jefferson
Jesette
Jessie
Jet
Jones
Jordan
Kai
Kaius
Katherina
Kayden
Keely
Keika
Kenyon
Kiahni
Kianna
Kiara
Kire
Kobe
Kye
Lars
Leila
Lennox
Levi
Lianna
Linnea
Lola
Lottie
Lucia
Lulu
Mabel
Mackenzee
Maddox
Magic
Mali
Manon
Marley
Marlina
Marlon
Marni
Maxina
Maya
Meika
Miel
Milan
Milla
Milo
Mimi
Mykala
Naya
Nemah
Nico
Orlando
Oscar
Otis
Paloma
Pania
Paris
Parker
Phoenix
Piper
Pixie
Poppy
Quincy
Quinlan
Rafferty
Raniera
Ravenna
Remy
River
Rocco
Roman
Ruby
Rumi
Ryder
Rylee
Ryze
Saffron
Sequoia
Serafina
Sienna
Siska
Snow
Stevie
Sullivan
Summer
Sunny
Taiya
Taj
Tallow
Talulah
Tasia
Tavish
Taylor
Teak
Tiago
Tiana
Tiger
Tuesday
Tyger
Tyke
Tyla-Rose
Uriah
Veera
Violet
Wilco
Winter
Xanthe
Xavia
Yara
Yazmin
Zach
Zahra
Zander
Zara
Zee
Zephyr
Zygi

Don’t call me Mum

Mummy and Master 5

Mummy and Master 5

Mums, you know how sometimes your kids call for you so frequently you just want to change your name? Not your actual name, but the honorary one of “Mum”.

The name they use when there is a bug in the house that needs your IMMEDIATE attention. The name they use when they need to show you the MASSIVE scratch on their arm, the one you need to put your glasses on to see. The name they call out over and over again when you duck off to the toilet and the name they scream out when they cannot see you at the shop.

Recently I laid down the law to my youngest, Master 5, about the use of the word “Mum”. I instructed him he only had a certain number of uses of it each day so he had better use them wisely. With solemn eyes (Have you seen his eyes? Heart melting!) he looked at me, nodded his head and said, “Ok Anna”.

Round 1 to you son.

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Valentines Day Cupcake Giveaway

(For illustration purposes only)

Even if the roses are faded and the violets dead, there is always cake to be had.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching so I am jumping on the bandwagon and spreading the love (and maybe your love handles) with a cupcake giveaway.

I am fortunate enough to have a cousin who loves to bake and create pretty cupcakes (that way you won’t have to worry about my skills) so I have secured her services and will have TWO lots of SIX cupcakes to share with you.

The fine print does have a couple of limitations due to the nature of the prize. You will need to be able to collect (or have a delivery location for) said cupcakes in the South Perth area. Collection/delivery can happen on the afternoon of 13th of February 2013 or the morning of 14th of February. Easy?

So what do you have to do to enter I hear you ask. Easy again. Show me some love. Head over to my Facebook PAGE and LIKE me. If you have already liked the page then just like the post about this competition to enter.

Entries close 9pm Tuesday 12th of February.

xA

School Awards – academics versus intelligence.

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Tonight I will heading off to my children’s school awards night to celebrate two of them receive awards for “academic excellence”. I am of course proud of their achievements and am happy to tell them so. I sense that the end of school awards season is a tad unsavoury for many parents (not sure the kids think about it as much) and an important point must be discussed. The distinction between SMART and ACADEMIC.

It is a conversation I have with many parents all year round, but never more so than at the end of the year.

Many parents, and a number of children, are self-effacing and proclaim they are not smart enough to be an award recipient. This is simply not true, in my opinion at least, and does them an injustice that is all too often bought into by others.

Most children are smart aka clever, shrewd, intelligent or bright. Academics is another concept entirely. It is more of a personality trait that shows a child can conform to a prescribed set of rules and behaviours. Their discipline is shown in their attitude and methodologies which allows them to achieve at a high standard, a standard determined by the education system.

An academic child is not necessarily the smartest child.  More importantly, a non-academic child is NOT unintelligent, in my experience rarely is this the case.

So along with my congratulations for their achievement, my children receive the repeated message that it was their diligence and self-motivation toward tasks that played a far greater part in them securing an award than their intelligence.

Hopefully this will see them growing and maturing with the core belief that hard work and dedication can, and will, take them much further than just reliance on their “grey matter”.

xA

In the spirit of giving….A GIVEAWAY

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There are many reasons to celebrate all throughout the year, and I do so with great frequency. I celebrate being blessed, I celebrate great friends and loving family, I celebrate freedom and choice, some days I celebrate utopia when the words that I want to write present themselves with little effort.

Today I am going to celebrate two joyous things in my life, creativity and conversation. The creative aspect manifests itself in the form of the deliciously divine Belle of Belle Bijoux Australia and the conversation is all down to you.

To get the conversation started, I have one of these sparklers to give away to a lucky person.

Crystal Clear “Louis”

This is a new season piece and as yet unavailable to purchase. When it does become available it will do so in two colours.  The Clear Crystal as pictured, or a Black Crystal. It has a gold band and setting and is adjustable so if you have ample fingers like me they won’t pose a problem. It retails for $99.

You want to know how you can get this beauty on your finger don’t you? Well like I said the conversation is up to you. So, tell me what gifts tickle your fancy this festive season. What do you wish to receive and what are you looking forward to giving?

Entries close 9pm (WST) Sunday the 16th of December 2012. The winner will be chosen by me, through a combination of creativity/originality/randomness/bribery/heart wrenching and sheer luck. So do your best to sway me.

xA

How do you lend a helping hand?

In the sea of humanity one need not look far to find worthy recipients of a helping hand. The causes you can choose to help are endless as are the ways you can help.

So, how do you help the less fortunate in our world?

Monetary help, or donations are probably the most common. There are those extra generous souls who give the gift of their time and to my mind that is a league above. For most of us we choose to give money. But even that is not as easy as it sounds. We must ask ourselves, would one make a greater impact by spreading contributions out amongst the previously mentioned plethora of causes or would it do more good to lump it all into one select cause?

For me and my family we go with the latter and salary sacrifice to Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). Our reasons are many and include the belief that country citizens get a bit of a raw deal when it comes to medical care.

That is not to say I am not compelled to contribute to other causes throughout the year but I am adept at saying no to the tin shaking volunteers that are common place outside shops these days. Their cause may be just as worthy, but I am not as confident that the money will get to where it needs to go.

As we approach Christmas my children do their part to donate to those that need a little extra help. They sort through toys, select the ones they no longer use and take them into one of the local charities. We choose a different recipient each year.

In the interest of evolution I am always considering if I can do better, so share your thoughts on how to lend a helping hand.

Twitter Pages Get Header Images

Twitter has made a change to the customisation of your profile page. You can now select and upload a header image (yes very much the same as Facebook’s cover image).

Here is a very quick How To:

My original look

Under settings you go to design

scroll down until you see the HEADER option. Select and then choose the image you want to upload.

Preview of the image then save.

The end result.

There is plenty of opportunity to be far more creative than I was so if you do something special share the link to your page so I can take a peek.

DIY Large Artwork

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I have a decent sized lounge room that has been begging for some artwork on the lone solid wall. When I set out to find something I soon realised that all the artists I liked, with works the appropriate size, were far beyond my budget.

I briefly considered painting my own but having NEVER painted anything other than walls and my nails I dismissed that notion with great haste.

It wasn’t until I was doing a cull in the linen cupboard and found an old wool bed underlay destined for the bin that I was struck with inspiration.

A trip to the hardware store to purchase some inexpensive pine batons and some grovelling to my husband procured me a frame to stretch the old wool underlay over.

After stapling it down I grabbed some acrylic paints left over from a kids craft activity and set to work.

Then came the learning curve. Paint does not move across wool. It gets sucked in pretty fast and in copious amounts. The quantity of paint required to complete my task was many times more than I originally thought. Whilst eagerness is great it does not bring inspiration nor talent to the table; or painting.

I have tended to the (wool) canvas on four occasions adding and assessing to end up with this;

It will do for now and if inspiration strikes I can paint some more.

xA

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