Lets stop talking and start doing!

 A little help goes a long way

A little help goes a long way

Parenting is Hard.
We all know it. We all swap stories of the same frustrations. We lament over lack of sleep, never getting a hot cup of tea and of having to share our toilet trips with toddlers in tow. BUT, that’s all we do. Talk, complain and empathise.
Last week I decided to change that.
I was talking with a friend about someone we both knew who has 9 week old twins and a (just turned) 2 year old. The usual things were said; “I don’t know how she does it”, “I can’t even imagine trying to feed twins”, “One 2 yr old is hard enough to chase after, let alone with twins in tow”
I thought about it all weekend. Then in occurred to me. Stop TALKING about it and DO something about it! So I did. I made some beautiful homemade meals, and on my way to work I delivered them. I checked it was ok, told her I was not going to stay, just popping in and dropping off.
And I did. I filled her freezer, got to cuddle and smooch her adorable babies. Then I left.
Later that day I got a genuinely grateful message from her husband. An exhausted, hardworking man who not only has the stress of working 12 hour days to provide for his family, but the stress of not being at home to help his wife.
A few hours of my time has given this couple over a weeks’ worth of dinners so they get to enjoy each other’s company and spend a bit more precious time with their beautiful kids. That’s pretty cool in my book.
We all know the proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. We know it, we believe it, and yet we’ve lost the art of practising it.
Being a parent is hard;
How many times have you heard (or said) “You just have to get the baby to sleep”. Well guess what. If that were so bloody easy, there wouldn’t be a whole industry cashing in on it!
I think we’ve got it all wrong. We all know how hard it is to function when sleep deprived. It really is no wonder why it was used as a form of torture!
What would happen if we did what we could so that Mum (or Dad) got some sleep? Seriously, remember what your fist month, 6 months, and year was like. Imagine how different it would have been for you if someone you trusted was able to care for your baby, for even an hour so you could get some sleep. Not the kind where you sleep with one ear open, but real, solid, sleep.
So here’s my challenge to you.
I want you to think of someone you know with a baby or young child. Consider what you can do to make their week easier. Even better, ask them what you can do to help. Cook some meals? Do some laundry? Watch the kids while they get some sleep?
Then do it.
I promise you, you will make a difference to that person, and the joy it will give you will make you want to do it again.
Then do it again. And again.

IKEA…….a good idea in theory…

When will I learn? Seriously, for some reason, that I will never know the answer to, Friday I decided it would be a good idea to go to Ikea with the kids, alone, to buy them new beds. Simple enough right? Well, just in case you’re considering it, please take note….

First mistake, an afternoon visit……

You know how it is, you’re being productive, getting all your running around done, kids are being awesome at being dragged around town, in and out of the car, so you figure, why not knock off one more job. Not drop off the mail, not grab some bread, no I decide the time is right (at 3pm) to visit the world’s biggest maze; Ikea.

I find a park straight off; right near the door. Feeling pretty clever right now….. kids out, and in without a hitch (I got this), straight to the café for a pre shop drink, snack and play, thinking that will pacify the kids for the trip. FAIL.

Firstly, who knew picking whether you want apple or apple and blackcurrant juice or what colour cup you want your jelly in (seriously, same bloody jelly, just in a different coloured cup) would take so long. Where not solving world issues here kids, just pick a bloody cup, one cup and move along!

So we survive the selection process, find a spot to enjoy our afternoon treat. The kids hit the play equipment & I browse the very strategically placed IKEA catalogues. Nice, we’re back on track. We’re about to hit the shopping spree – but wait, toilet break needed. Ok, fair call, no biggy. We get through the usual discussion on the state of the toilet, debate over who gets to go first and who gets to hand out the toilet paper. The over use of soap and joy at finally being able to reach the paper towel, and we’re off.

Miss 4, ever the independent one, has decided she wants to go play in the ‘ball room’ (for those who don’t know, IKEA have a wonderful kids play area where you can leave your children, supervised, while you shop!) Again, a small detour I hadn’t planned, but I’m secretly thrilled at the prospect of a child free shop! Ok, so one child less (kids must be over 3 to stay), Master 2 and I are finally on our way.

After the not so surprising navigation of displays, Master 2 putting in piles of napkins, utensils, cushions (you get the idea) and me just as quickly removing them, we finally get to the warehouse mecca. Then the problem. I now have a trolley full of glass jars, a few cushions, this and that. But I need to get the beds…… So after quick discussion with cashier, trolley #1 is left with her so I can collect our beds and mattresses……

4 (very heavy) boxes and two mattresses later I finally make it back to the checkout queue. So here I am; two trolleys (one with ridiculously long boxes and very high mattresses) a 2 year old who has just discovered a second wind of energy – and the giant baskets of batteries, ice block cups, lint removers etc all very well placed around the cashiers, only 2 more people in front of me ……. “MUM I HAVE TO WEE. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW”

Seriously. Can you wait? Can you hold on? I don’t know why I ask because I know the answer …… Ok. I push both trolleys to one side (trying not to do an injury to myself or the people around me), do a mad dash to the toilet where Master 2 tries to convince me he can go on his own and I can wait outside. No Son, No. There’s 2 trolleys waiting out there for me & I have to pick your sister up from the crèche before they declare her an abandoned child.

Finally done (and to the lady who walked out without washing her hands; gross! You should know better!). Back in queue, both trolleys being masterfully guided down the line, and finally we’re getting there. Of course I’ve picked the cashier who likes to check every single barcode scanned matches up correctly on the screen (now as a business owner I loved this attention to detail, as a tired Mumma; not so much).

I’m paying and stacking the good back into trolley #1, Master 2 is pushing trolley #2 away towards the doors! Now I have to admit, this was actually really funny and rather cute to see this little guy pushing all those boxes around. However, this was not helpful……

We finally made it through! Now I just had to leave the goods for the Hubby to collect on his way home from work, and pick up Miss 4. Done, and Done.

I know I shouldn’t, but I try and sneak out to the car with Trolley #1…. Sprung! So, I do as I’m told and leave trolley at exit, walk both kids to car, load said kids in car, reverse car up and load the purchases in. All the while trying to plan what I’ll make for dinner now that we’re past 5pm and frankly I’m exhausted!

We make it home, and every mother out there will know that feeling when you park the car and you have to get the kids out, get the shopping out, one of them wants a drink NOW, someone wants to play outside, so can you open the back door NOW, then they need a banana right NOW because their STARVING…….

I’m happy to say things did improve with family movie night, complete with fish’n’chips picnic on the floor, but all the while, I was haunted by the knowledge that my IKEA experience was not over….. those beds were not going to put themselves together……..

But that’s another story!

Only 17; too young to die.

Today I attended the funeral of a young man, just 17 years old.

There was about 1000 people at the funeral

It was the most wonderful and most gut wrenching hour since I’ve had children of my own.

The young man’s father, somehow, managed to receive every single mourner before the service who wanted to pass on their condolences.

The young man’s mother managed to receive about two thirds before she simply collapsed into her chair.

The young man’s sister, only a few years older than him, received mourners as well as caring for her mother.

The eulogy, delivered by and the young man’s Uncle was possibly the best I have heard. He warned us it would be long as there was 17 years to get through. He made no apology for that. And it was wonderful.

Somehow, the young man’s father, sister and mother all spoke. They managed to muster a courage, from where, I do not know. They spoke eloquently and beautifully about their sudden and crushing loss.

We watched a video montage of the young man’s life. From birth to today. Accompanied by songs for each stage of his life. It was funny. It was emotional. It was devastating. It was perfect.

After the funeral I drove the hour home. I tried to process for myself what the parents, sister, family and closest friends of this young man were experiencing. I tried to find some acceptable reason for why such a wonderful, loving, full-of-life- young man had to die. I could not think about if that was my son, or my daughter. That is just too painful.

I have recently started a gratitude journal. Tonight as I think about all the things I am truly grateful for, and that are my world, none of them are actually things. They are all people. My children, my husband, my family and my close friends.

We are quick to forget and take for granted our loved ones, and our selves. Tonight I vow to get better at not doing that. And tonight, when I climb into bed next to my babies (they wanted to sleep in our bed, and I know one day they won’t want to), I will simply commit to memory the sound of their breathing, the smell of their hair, their perfection.

To the young man who is no longer here; may you rest in peace. To his family; may you one day find peace.

The Sh*t they don’t tell you

Guest blog - Alyssa Warrick

Guest blog – Alyssa Warrick

Today’s blog is by my sister. We have spent many hours laughing about some of the things we have to put up with as parents, but when she told me this story, I knew it had to be shared! Enjoy the laugh!

I have often said to friends that I would like to write a book about parenting called ‘The Sh*t ‘they’ don’t tell you’. You know, it would cover things that no one tells you about being a parent, like – Hey did you know that some babies don’t take a bottle? ANY bottle…AT ALL….No matter how many you try??? And breast milk stains! Seriously, for something that is made up of so much water – let’s just say, you’re about to get to know the laundry soaking bucket very well.

There’s about a thousand blogs I could write under this heading, but today, this is literally about the Sh*t ‘they’ don’t tell you.

In our house, we’re toilet training our nearly three year old son. It was exciting at first; picking out which cool jocks to wear, buying a cool step for the toilet, high fiving when he did a wee [in the toilet]. But now. Now we are at the stage where the novelty has worn off and it’s no Fun anymore. Jocks aren’t exciting, the steps just another annoying obsticle and who cares if everyone else is doing it?

We know it’s just all part of it. We know we just have to be persistent and sooner or later the penny will drop. So we keep up with the jock wearing and constant reminding.

Well, here’s where that got us so far….the other night we are sitting at the dinner table waiting for our DS to finish his dinner (another thing they don’t tell you, dinner can take hours).

Hubby ha the 8-month old in the bath. I’m sitting with our son enjoying the nonsensical banter between us over his dinner, and it’s about time to check, so I ask ‘hey buddy, do you need to do a wee?’

“no Mummy I’ve just done one”

Yep. He was right. I look down where he’s sitting and sure enough, there’s wee running off our once beautiful fabric dining chairs. I take a deep breath (and count to ten) and I clean it up.

As I am cleaning we discuss again where we do wees and poos; in the toilet answers my cleaver son. YAY you got it buddy!…….HA! Well, not 20 seconds later, as I return from putting the wee soaked towel in the laundry is he’s sitting on another chair doing a POO! Yes, A POO at the dining table!….Are you kidding me?????

I grab hubby and say this one’s yours…I’ll take over the baby. Seeing the look in my eyes and expression on my face, Hubby knows it’s better to just take over the poo clean up than argue.

Now, you’d think that was enough for one night, right? Well, not in our house…… As I’m cooling down and playing nicely with the baby in the bath, I look down and see he’s making THAT face…Yep; he’s doing a poo – in the bath!

It’s at this point where delirium hits and you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Thankfully we managed to get through the rest of the night poo free; getting into our PJ’s is a whole other story…

And that…is the type of Sh*t ‘they’ don’t tell you!


The guaranteed 10 things you’ll do as a parent you swore you wouldn’t.

I swore I'd never bribe my kids.....

I swore I’d never bribe my kids…..

Ok, I admit it. I was that person before kids who had very clear ideas on what I would and certainly would not do as a parent. There were those around me who knew better and tried (in vain) to tell me I would, and then there were those, like my mother, who just nodded in agreement with a slight smile, I now know to be the “oh yeah right” smile……. I’m pretty sure I’ve worn that smile since having kids too, when my pre kid friends tell me what they will never do as a parent.

1. Feed your kids in the car
This was a big one for me. Having had a sporty little Alfa Romeo pre kids I knew I would never be that parent with food wrappers and milk stains on the car seat. Guess what, when you have a screaming child you’ll pass just about anything to them to shut them up. Seriously, you wait, I guarantee the day will come where you throw random food stuffs in the general direction of the baby seat in the hopes that one hits its mark and you get some peace and quiet!

2. Put the TV on in as a temporary babysitter
Done it. Will no doubt do it again.
Now, I actually don’t like the idea of too much telly, and as a rule I’m pretty old school “if the suns out, so are you” but there are days, and I’ve had a few, where all you need is a rest; and you’ll take anything. Even the annoying voice of Peppa Pig is better than the relentless “but why Mummy”

3. Bribe your child
Who was I kidding? We bribe ourselves! “If I go for a walk today, I can have desert tonight” and again, without even knowing it you find yourself offering all sorts of things just to get to the finish line. You know the drill; you’re doing the grocery shopping with your beautiful toddlers, little old ladies admiring your precious brood….then it happens. They suddenly notice the displays of easter eggs (still too early people – but that’s a whole other blog). Their eyes dart between the eggs and you, eggs and you, then …… “MUM, LOOK, MUM! EGGS, MUM, MUM, MUM, MUM I WANT AN EGGGGGGGGGG” yep. Your picgure perfect shopping experience is coming crashing down around you and the only way you can see to stop it “Ok, here’s the deal. IF you’re good for Mummy while we finish the shopping, you can have an *insert bribery item here*” truth is, sometimes it works, sometimes…….. pass the wine.

4. Scoff a chocolate bar just so you don’t have to share
Definitely not my proudest moment – but I guarantee, any parent of toddlers will know this one well. At first it’s cute when your little one wants to share your food. Then it wears thin. Like wafer thin. You get tired of sharing with a slobber faced toddler; and before you know it, you’re hiding in the pantry, or have your face shoved in the fridge while scoffing down your treat like a wild animal!

5. Discuss your poo and wee. A lot
Oh my gawwwwwwwd. I remember my mother saying (ok yelling) “Can I just go to the toilet in peace?!” so I guess, now is my karma. Seriously, I can’t think of anything worse than watching someone go to the toilet. Kids; toddlers in particular, not only want to watch, they want to discuss it! Then it gets worse, they want to ‘help’ you wipe! For goodness sake, if there’s ever a moment you know you’re a parent, this is it people. There is no such thing as privacy anymore, no such thing as a quick pee – nope. From here on in it becomes a group affair to be discussed and shared with anyone who’ll listen! Bump into a friend at the supermarket and your toddler says proudly (and for some reason very loudly) “My Mummy did a smelly poo’. Thanks Son, Thanks a million.

6. Sound just like your mother
Daily. Firstly, make the word NO you’re friend. You’re going to use it a lot. But it’s those moments you catch yourself saying the exact thing your mother would say which you swore you would never say that sends shiver down your spine…what’s next? Ugly, but oh so cumfy shoes?

7. Deliberately skip pages in bed time stories….until they get too smart and call you on it
We read books every night. I love books, I want my kids to love books, but at the end of a very long day, sometimes, the book is just too long. I guarantee, every parent has done it. ‘Accidentally’ get a few pages stuck together, miss a line here and there….. Don’t feel bad, enjoy while you can get away with it, because before too long they know every story word for word and will call you out on it!

8. Tell lies; ok white lies……. Lots
There’s the ones that I think enhance childhood and help create those awesome memories; Easter Bunny, Father Christmas, Tooth Fairy. Then there’s the day to day ones. “oh, sorry Jake, I’d love to go running through the water fountain with you, but the ‘sign’ says ‘No running through the water fountain today’ Bummer; next time, ok?” PS If you haven’t used ‘sorry but the sign says….’, it’s my gift to you. You’re welcome.

9. Let my kids eat junk food
Like the TV we all have these pre kid ideas about being these perfect model parents who feed their kids nothing but home-made nutritious foods. Guess what, some days, if it’s classed as food in some form, it’ll do. Simple.

10. Never swear in front of your kids
One word for you. Bullsh*t.

First day of Kindy and already she doesn’t need me!

The last few months have been like a long drive in a car….. every morning our four-year old has asked “is today Kindy day?” [insert tone ‘are we there yet’]

Well, today was finally the day we got to do the happy dance and fist pump ‘YES!’

I, like I’m sure soooo many parents out there, spent last night lovingly getting Miss 4’s new lunch box (complete with all the matching snack containers and drink bottle) washed, labelled and ready for the gourmet feast I planned to send her off with in the morning.

Ok so maybe not gourmet, but it was certainly enough food for her (and possibly 4 friends) I carefully arranged, then re-arranged it (and once more), so everything fit just perfectly in her Tinkerbell lunch bag. Gently put it in her ‘big girl’ school bag along with all the paraphernalia you are asked to pack (and yes, I did go back and re-read the “What Children Need” list….).

Then it happened; we turned into ‘those’ parents….

Camera was out, iPhone was ready, home-made sign given to Miss 4 with instruction to hold it clearly, and we started clicking away. Seriously it was like a scene from the Golden Globes red carpet

“Look at Mummy honey” click click click

“look at Daddy’s phone” click click click

Somehow, our four-year old managed to keep much more composed than we were and gave us her beautiful proud smile. Of course, Master 2 was bursting with excitement over this unusual morning display; so then it was his turn to jump in on the action click click click

Then it was time. Yep, it had finally arrived! After taking Master 2 to child care we were all packed in the car and ready.

To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect. I was pretty sure she would be fine; after all, several of her friends are attending the same Kindy, and she’s one of those kids that you know will be fine. Really a-ok. However, there is still that part of you that’s a little apprehensive for them; will they make friends? Will they use their manners? Will they miss me? Well, no sooner were we through the gate, we knew; yep, she’ll be FINE!

She picked a hook for her bag, did a quick once over of the yard, then inside to check out the HUGE array of things to do; and she was off. Fine, totally fine. It was the first glimpse of her not needing us anymore. Ok so that might be a tad dramatic, but those of you with kids get it! We know a day will come when they choose to confide in their friends over us, decide it’s time to move out of home, travel and ultimately set up life with a new family of their own. And for some strange reason, her innocent act of exploring all Kindy has to offer made all this seem much closer than I ever thought before.

Having said that, it was also my first taste of the freedom that comes when kids start school. I even went out for coffee with a friend and my trusty assistant (aka the pooch)!

So to all you mums and dads nervous or scared about this next step I say embrace it. With every stage comes fears, joys and sometimes sadness, but it is all part of the crazy dance we call life; so kick up your heels, and twirl along with the rest of us!

kids kard

Recording day one of Kindy click click click

10 things to do BEFORE you have kids!

This is not a joke. Seriously, take this list to any of your friends with kids and watch them nod in agreement  – then look for the sense of urgency as they tell you “it’s true. All of it. DO IT!”

Print this off.

Stick it on your fridge.

Tick each one-off as you do it ……

Now file it away and re visit it after you have your first bundle of joy.  Not immediately when you’re all loved up and consumed by the awesomeness of this little person you created, but when they’re about 3…… yep. 3’s a good age to reflect on this list…..

1. Buy lots and lots of Tissues, Paper Towel and baby wipes.

Seriously; start now. Add them to your shopping list and for goodness sake, if you see them on special, buy them all! Everyone will tell you about nappies, burp cloths and bottles, but no one warns you just how much you’ll be needing these paper products. If it’s not a dirty bum, it’s noses, pen of couches, that sticky stuff on the strap of your handbag……

2. Buy your dream car – or as close as you can get to it

Trust me. Before kids we all sing the same tune   …..  ‘my kids will never eat in the car’, well news flash; they will. When all hell is breaking loose and all you hear from the back seat is your once peaceful and perfect child screaming and kicking and carrying on, you’ll pass them whatever food or drink resembling product just for the 35 seconds of quiet it brings. Inevitably you’ll spend the next few years picking out bits of what was once food stuff from behind seats and under floor mats. Buy the nice car now. Enjoy the new smell. Admire the clean upholstery….then trade it in for something practical as soon as you fall pregnant!

3. Stay out all night and don’t get home until 5am!

Once babies come along, you’ll be getting up at 5am…… and 2am……. and 11pm…….and – well you get the idea. Go out. Dance in ridiculously high heels to 90’s tunes, eat a kebab at 2am and fall into bed when the sun rises.

4. Make a list of all the books your want to read, and read them now.

You’re either going to be so tired you just read the same line over and over and over again or just too bloody tired to pick up the book! Do yourself a favour and buy lots of fiction, immerse yourself in the imaginary world and relax!

5. Have crazy, spontaneous sex

Forget the initial need to recover from having the baby, if you’re not too tired, it’s the constant panic that they’ll barge into your room at any moment…… go crazy NOW, try out a new move or two, do it on the sofa, table, bench…….

6. Eat out at a nice restaurant; and make it a late booking

When kids come along, enjoy that initial 6 months where they sleep peacefully in their pram while you enjoy still being able to dine out….because once they can move, you better be sat down, ordered and have all available entertainment at the ready by 5.30pm or else! Like it or not, kids; young kids, need routine and that includes meal time so you can kiss goodbye (for now) to those 7.30pm dinner reservations with a drink or two before ordering. So get on the phone, and book that restaurant; the one with cloth napkins and cute little candles …….

7. Go to the loo; alone, and savour it

You think I’m joking? Ask any parent of a toddler and they’ll tell you to enjoy the privacy of your toilet while you can. A few years from now you’ll remember this advice while your three-year old stands screwing their nose up telling you how smelly you are, or worse, screaming at you to hurry up because they have to poo RIGHT NOW, and you know if you don’t finish in Olympic record speed and put them on the loo you’ll be cleaning it off the floor……. yep, if only for me, please enjoy the peace and quiet of your toilet trips

8. Go out for Sunday brunch.

Call your friends (I promise only the child free ones will be able to come) and book them in for a long, slow, boozy Sunday brunch. Throw in some live music then kick back and enjoy. Kids and routine don’t have time for brunch!

9. Frock Up!

What are you waiting for? Put on those gorgeous heels you’ve been saving for a special occasion, wear that white silk blouse, hell throw on a fascinator just because you can! You’ll look at your wardrobe a whole new way once baby arrives……. Before Baby Clothes and Post Baby Clothes…… you wont even notice it happening, then one day you see that section of the wardrobe you don’t dare venture into for fear of little fingers and the damage they can inflict!

10. Go for a long long long walk on the beach

Not because it’s relaxing (which it its) but because once baby arrives you’ll spend the next 10 or so years carrying bags, buckets, shovels, towels, sunshade, boogie boards, food and drink like a pack mule trekking across the desert. And don’t even get me started on the joys of trying to get a pram across the sand……..

relax mom mum parents babysitter 10 things to do before kids

They warned me about ‘Terrible Two’s but no one mentioned ‘Tantrum Three’s’!

“I’m not your best friend anymore!” (in your best whiny, hand on hip, sing song voice please)

Seriously, if I hear this one more time today I might be the one to throw the BFF charms in the bin!

I remember a girlfriend smirking quietly to herself when I boasted about a year ago (ok rather smugly) that my [then] two and a half year old daughter didn’t throw tantrums. The worst she did was put her head on the ground and lift one leg in the air. Yep, no noise, no rolling around resembling a seizure, just quite, and frankly cute behaviour.

Well, let me tell you; things have certainly changed!

My beautiful, loving, calm daughter has been replaced by a headstrong, stubborn, crossed arm 3.5 year old who with narrowed eyes and firm voice will tell me (ok, yell at me)

“STOP Talking to me!”

“NO!!! I said IN A MINUTE”

“But, I don’t want toooooooooooo”

and my personal favourite, the low growl with fists clenched at her side ……

What? When did this happen? but more importantly, when will it stop?

Seriously, someone tell me, when will it stop!?

tantrum toddler bad mood kidskardapp

Who knew it would take so long?

So, I’ve learnt this building an app thing is not as quick as I thought….. By now, I thought we’d be in week two of live to app store; me being inundated with emails about just how awesome the app is and how parents can’t imagine living without it.

It appears I was way off the mark.

So where are we? I’m hoping to have another build to play with by the end of today; giving me the weekend to scour through each screen to see if there’s any further changes needed. I can however tell you that we’ve chosen to get it right rather than just get it out there (as has been suggested to me several times by some).

Frankly, I don’t see the point in putting the app out unless is does what we says it does; perfectly. Anyhow, I thought we’d give you a sneak peak at some of the screens – I think they look bloody amazing! I’m so proud of how it’s coming together!

If you want to be a beta tester you can email me at bianca@kidskardapp.com

If you just want the app for FREE (this will be only for a limited time) you can pre register at http://www.kidskardapp.com and the ‘like’ our facebook page http://www.facebook.com.kidskard

So – let me know what you think of our shots!


Development coming along

WOW! I just finished another meeting with the developer and let me say, Kids Kard App really is going to the be the ‘peace of mind’ tool all parents will want!

Where are we at? We’re currently tweaking the “Event Kard” function to ensure it syncs perfectly with the Kalendar. What does this mean?

You will be able to Kreate an Event Kard; think play date, doctors appointment or sporting event including the start and finsish times, date, detail on what the event is. You’ll even be able to add notes on whatever you like; things to bring, directions etc.
I told you it’s exciting!!!

Come back and check in – I’ll be posting new screen shots soon!!!