Tuesday, June 26, 2012

{Brett's Write Mind} I Don't Like It!

These four words are, without question, the most commonly heard four words at nearly every family dinner table each night. More often then not, it's before a single forkfull has touched the kids fussy little tongues. You wouldn't mind so much if they ate a big mouthful before coming to this frustratingly inevitable conclusion. With the exception of a select few meals or the rare (yet unfortunately convenient) "treat" from the clown or the colonel, it's a nightly struggle to get children to "eat your darn dinner!"

If you get lucky, you may get one or two to have a go. They will reluctantly pick at their plates, fossicing for something that may appeal to their choosy culinary tastes. "I spent hours cooking this" "It's good for you" "Your sister likes it" "Eat it all and you'll get an ice block". The nightly script rarely changes.

It's seriously frustrating as parents; you try to feed your children healthy, nutritious and tasty food, and they just push their plates away. As much as we love to blame ourselves for all our children's "issues", it may not, however, be totally our fault. It's evolution's fault.

Sticking to 'safe' or 'known' foods is an adaptive advantage for young children as they are more vulnerable to poisons. They are naturally - big word alert -  neophobic. It's not that the stir fry you spent hours preparing was yucky, its that the little joys are hardwired to be cautious of new foods. Forcing them to eat that tasty quiche may have negative effects as well. Research conducted at Oxford University suggests that "in the long run parental control attempts may have negative effects on the quality of children’s diets by reducing their preferences for those foods"

What about those evil 'snack' foods? "…child feeding strategies that restrict children’s access to snack foods actually make the restricted foods more attractive." Well, yeah, I don't think we need Oxford professors to tell us that.

So, forcing our children to eat their greens and keeping the snacks at a distance are out. So now what?
Give up? Leave them vulnerable to becoming just another disturbing statistic in the ever-increasing problems of childhood obesity and diabetes?

No way!

Parents need to be dietary role models for their kids. We the parents buy the food and prepare most meals. We are what we eat and our kids are what we eat as well. Put that delicious and nutritious meal in front of them night after night. They will fight, night after night. Aim to create good eating habits in them by displaying good eating habits yourselves. They may inevitably fall under the spell of peer pressure and eat what "all the other kids are eating", but if we arm them with the right nutrition ammunition (you like that one?), we give them a better chance of making good dining decisions.
It will be frustrating, but, as with every little piece of the parenting puzzle, totally awesome in the long run. 

We got lucky, our bunch are, in general, pretty good eaters. Persistence seems to work for us -most of the time. We introduce something once, bring it back every now and then, let them acquire the taste and before we know it: a new favourite! If any of you have any other hints or tips on feeding fussy eaters (apart from the hiding method - that's just cheating- not forming good habits), please share them with the world! 

Peace and Love,Brett


Monday, June 25, 2012

Holiday Fun Instagramed

It is no secret that I love taking photos.  And I love Instagram.  It is an easy way to snap our adventures, without having to lug around my DSLR.  But I do love my DSLR and must carry it around more often.

I would love you to follow me on Instagram.  I am @fivelittlereasons

Brett has just joined too (now that they have Instagram for Android... man loves his android)  He is @DaddyReason

Here is our first day of the holidays in Instagram form.

And away we go!


Hot Dog, Milkshake and the Pacific Ocean.


I felt like Michael J Fox in these shoes! 





I can totally bowl.  The guy next to us... could not!







Five Little Reasons


Q1 Building.
Up until recently, it was the tallest residential
building in the southern hemisphere.
3354mtrs high.  74 flights.
Fastest elevator ever.
Got from bottom to top in 43 seconds.    




This kid cracks me up on a daily basis.
"Mama!  Take a photo of me pretending to fall!"
He also told me that if the glass wasn't there,
he could totally bomb dive into the pool below.
Totally. 

Aah, the serenity! 


Totally going back again on a clear day with
my DSLR to capture what I know would be an epic sunset.  
Tomorrow will be a much slower paced day.

What have you got planned for the school holidays?



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Friday, June 22, 2012

{Brett's Write Mind} The Bipolar Me: Part One - An Introduction


My name is Brett, and I suffer from Bipolar Affective Disorder. Our parents would have called it Manic Depression. Their parents probably would have locked me away and suggested electro-shock therapy or a good old fashioned exorcism.

This “condition” is as much a part of my life as my wife and my children, so to sum it up in a single blog post would not be fair to ‘it’, or me.

I will not be filling your heads with stats or figures. I will not be boring you with endless quotes from ‘celebrity’ sufferers like Russel Brand, Kurt Cobain and Carrie Fisher (yes friends, Princess Leia was bipolar!).

This will be a personal approach to a very personal story. My story.

One of the most difficult aspects of this illness is trying to describe to people what it “feels” like. I find it even more difficult than trying to explain my colour blindness, trying to explain what I see. I will try my best to describe what I feel.

Helping you to understand will, at the same time, help me to understand. I am learning more about this illness everyday. I realise that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and we will be together until we hit the finish line.

Over the weeks to come, I will go a little deeper. I will try to explain exactly what this illness is, from a human perspective, rather than a clinical one. The highs, the lows and the middles. How it affects my life and the lives of those around me. I will go through the various treatments, medical or otherwise that I have been through. I will share my fears and hopes for the future, a future that is hard to see sometimes.

This will be an important leg of my bipolar journey, and I am happy that you will be sharing it with me.

Oh, and go and check out my Wife's blog.  She wrote about our "Secret" a little while ago.  Here is the story from her perspective.

Peace & Love,
Brett



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

OMG! I forgot my child!!!

9.5 years and I have never forgotten a child.

Ever.

Until today.

And I am blaming Brett.  Totally.  Cause I can.  And it makes me feel a little better.

Just a little.

Today started like a normal Tuesday.  Brett starts work late, so after dropping the Big 3 Reasons at school, and Oliver (3) off to one of his 2 kindy days, we head somewhere nice to have brunch with Camille.

Today was a little different as my car was booked in for a service.  So we dropped my car off, and continued on in Brett's car.

The day continued like a normal Tuesday.  Brett started work at 11am.  I, unusually, walked to school pick up and we walked home (car still at service).

Here is where it all changed.  Brett normally works until 10pm on Tuesdays.  Always.

Today he came home at 3pm.

Usually - my mum picks up the big boys at 3pm and takes them to Ice Hockey training, feeds them dinner and brings them home.

Today - she dropped me off at the car service centre on her way.  Brett stayed at home with the girls.

After picking up my car, I went and did the grocery shopping.  I enjoyed the serenity, cruising slowly around woolies, loving having the time to read packets and explore different items.

I slowly unpacked the trolly into the back of my car, and took my time setting iTunes on the radio.  I cranked up the music.  As loud as I could.  Something I NEVER get to do.  I headed home, enjoying my carefree time.  It was already dark and I was glad that I decided to pick up some pre-made pasta for dinner as it was 5.40pm

As I pulled into the garage, Camille and Brett entered waving and excited.  Brett opened the sliding door of the minivan and looked at me.  "Haven't you forgotten something?"  he said.

"No?  I got everything we needed.  Please help me unpack."

"Um... honey... where is Oliver?"

F&%K!  Before he could say anything I shot back out of the garage.

OMG!   Panic set in.  I dialled the kindy and Ms Ainsley answered.  "Hi Ainsley, it is Oliver's mum... I will be there in 5 mins".  "No worries... he is fine".

I arrived and ran inside.  Oliver ran to me... unaware of the drama, and threw his arms around me as he does every time.   I held out my hand and gave him 2 jelly beans.   He beamed.  I apologised to the girls for being so late.  They thought it was strange that I was late... but just thought I had something unusual on, so didn't really think twice.   Yet.

 I usually pick him up at 4pm.  It was 5.50pm.  They close at 6pm.

We made our way home, chatting about his day and reciting colours of the rainbow.    Being only 3, he has no concept of time.  I am glad of this.  He will never know that I actually forgot him today.


I am off for a shower and a cry.


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Monday, June 18, 2012

{Review & Giveaway} The Fullmoon - Gravy Bags


And The Winner Is....




Congratulations AliciaJ.  All the best for your FIRST baby arriving soon!  

Shoot me an email at fivelittlereasons@me.com

__________________________________________________________________



I have never been a big Nappy Bag kind of girl.  Even when I had a nappy bag, I would carry it around empty.  I never felt the need to cart around a tonne of "stuff" but I could never find a nappy bag to reflect this.  Finally, Love Gravy at Gravy Bags, has launched the perfect nappy bag. 

I wish Love Gravy had invented this bag 10 years ago.  I am totally in love with it.  And Brett loves it just as much.  He always hated the "nappy bag" and if he was to change bubs when out, he would leave me with the bag... taking only a nappy and wipes with him to the change rooms.  Brett now loves taking The Fullmoon wherever he goes.   
Every person that has seen me out and about with The Fullmoon in the past couple of weeks have fallen in love with it just as much as me.  

I can not believe how much you can fit into The Fullmoon.  4 or so large nappies (and seriously... unless you are going over night somewhere, you don't need to carry around a whole packet of nappies), wipes, plus a travel size powder.  I was also able to put a travel size hand sanitiser and a small tube of nappy rash cream. 


The bag fits perfectly in the small basket under my bugaboo, {I hate the idea of having a bag hanging off the handle bars of the pram.  I did it once and it tipped},  and it is perfect size for Camille to carry around herself. 

I can't rave about this bag enough.  Look out all my girlfriends having babies soon.  You are getting one of these at your baby shower!
You can purchase The Fullmoon from their website.  You can buy it on it's own, or better still... they will fill it up ready to go!  Genius!

_____________________________________________________

Love Gravy is giving one lucky reader their very own Fullmoon valued at $74.95.  
To enter, all you have to do is answer 2 questions.  
1.  Leave a comment telling me who you want to win this bag for;
2.  Tell me in which city Gravy Bags is located.  {Hint, you will find the answer on the Gravy Bags website!}
Also, although not a prerequisite of entry, I would love if you could please head over to the Gravy Bag's Facebook page and "Like" them.  And say HI to Love Gravy too... tell him I sent you!  {Get's me some shameless brownie points!}

Competition is open to Australian residents only and closes at 6pm on Monday 2nd July 2012.  Winner will be announced on Tuesday 3rd July at 10am.   

_____________________________________________________



A SPOON FULL


Gravy design bags, but not the bags you expect.


Our bags combine smart, understated design with user-friendly functionality.

We are different - in colour, style, look and feel.

Our bags are convenient and designed to meet your needs.

Gravy shuns the over-branded. We’re not in your face with branding.

Gravy is more subtle. We’re looking for the satisfaction that comes from a design that performs as intended.

We don’t expect our designs will appeal to everyone, and we’re okay with that.

Some people will get Gravy, others won’t.

Gravy - it’s a matter of taste.



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Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Hide Game

There is this little game, that all the reasons have played as toddlers.  I guess we have taught them, but it is funny how they all picked it up and play it with their own personalities.

It is the hiding game.

When ever they are being held in our arms, they "hide" from others.  Placing their nose, on our nose and whispering "hide, hide, hide" which gentle excitement.

It is a wonderful memory of my babes that I will cherish forever.




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Friday, June 15, 2012

{Fashion of a Stay At Home Mum} Changes

My sense of fashion has changed dramatically over the past 15 years.  When Brett and I first got married, I would have considered myself very fashionable.  I wore "in" outfits.  Purchased from high end clothing stores.  Size 8-10.

Then I fell pregnant and all bets were off.  I got claustrophobic in clothing and thankfully our first was a Summer baby so I could lounge around in my normal shorts and extra large tank tops.

My career as a Stay-At- Home Mum had begun.  After having Hayden, I didn't leave the house much.  I wore what fit, never taking into account what I actually looked like.

As the years went on, my body changed... dramatically.  I put on the most weight after Lucy's pregnancy.  Weight I have never really lost.

Our budget was tight.  Really tight.  So I never bought any new clothes.  I made do with whatever I had.  Which was not much.  I would only buy clothes on clearance racks or from "cheap" shops.  $10-$12 for a top was a bargain.   Looking back now... they were a bargain for a reason.

Fast forward to now.  I am done having babies and I am ready to start embracing the woman I have become.  I have "settled" into my new body shape - or rather, my body has "settled" into it's new shape.

I am really looking forward to sharing this journey with you.  A journey that is going to force me to take a good hard look at myself.  Not the person I know and love, but the body I hate and despise.

How can I love the person I am so much... but cry at the reflection in the mirror?

I am slowly taking the step to try on more things.  Not judging them from the racks.  And I am sooo surprised.  I am wearing pieces that I would have NEVER thought I would ever wear.  And what is more... I am actually loving them.

Are you ready to take the journey with me?

I am totally in love with these pants.  
They are high wasted (perfect for the muffin top) and so comfortable.  

I am totally in love with this blouse.
The colour is divine and it has a gorgeous detailed neckline.

Virtu Bobbins Scarf
This is the longest, softest and most treasured scarf in my collection.


Outfit gifted to me by Virtu as per my disclosure policy.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Haze

I am struggling.  Really struggling.

The past two weeks are literally a blur.  I feel like I am on auto-pilot.  I have no idea where I am or what I am supposed to be doing.

I have hit a wall.

Big time.

The fatigue is intense.  I struggle to get to sleep at night.  Falling into a short slumber after midnight.  I then wake about 3 or 4 times throughout the "night", finally getting woken at about 5am by the wild cockatoos - who have decided that the fence... right outside my bedroom window, is a fantastic place to talk to cockatoos 2 streets away.

Or the neighbourhood dogs;

Or Brett... leaving for work.

I doze for another hour before dragging my butt out of bed and climbing into the shower.

I make my way into the kitchen, where the Reasons have already started congregating.  Feeding time.

I make bowls of porridge, weetbix and cut fruit.  While they eat, I make the school lunches.

I then spend the next half an hour yelling out various instructions.

Finally... at 8.10am, we leave the house.

Our school is only 5 minutes up the road.  A (not even) 15 minute walk.  But the first bell goes at 8.15am.  And I have run out of time.

We pull up at school and I usher the Three Big Reasons to class.  I walk slowly back down the main path through the school and climb back into my car.

I doze drive home and pull into the garage.

I let the little ones out of the car and plonk them in front of the TV.  I don't have the energy for anything, so I crash on the couch and watch yet another episode of "RaaRaa".

In the blink of an eye, 2.20pm arrives and it is time to pick the big three up from school.  We make it to the carpark and fight for a park.  I walk up to the prep building and string together a couple of sentences to other parents.  I have no idea what I am saying and I can feel my droopy eyes.

I yawn for the 200th time today.

I come home and the homework fight begins.  I sit at the table on the verge of tears while I try to organise homework, while Oliver chatters, Camille whinges, and Hayden fights with me.

When Brett walks in the door, I gasp a sigh of relief and retreat to the couch... again.

I am so incredibly tired.

Utterly exhausted.

I sat on the kitchen floor tonight and cried to Brett.

I am running on empty.  Not even fumes.  E M P T Y!

I don't have the energy for anything.

Anyone else stuck in the constant "Haze" at the moment?  How did you get yourself out of it?




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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

{Brett's Write Mind} Introducing.... Brett


My name is Brett.

I was born in the South of England in the Winter of 1972. Yes, this makes me awfully close to the big four-oh. I have been married to my beautiful bride now for nearly 12 years.

We have 5 amazing children, but you know that. They drive me crazy, they astound me daily, and they keep me young.  I am in love with my family. You'll see...

I love to read and I love to write, 2 things i need to make more time for.
I am currently writing the next great Australian novel. I know a lot of people say that, but in my case it's totally true! You'll see...

I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I am really funny. Seriously. You may not be laughing now, but you will be soon. You'll see...

I love science and technology, but I am no scientist or technologist (told you I was funny!). My kids share this love, which makes it even more awesome!

Then there is music. Jimi Hendrix said "Music Is My Religion". That's me. More on that later.

Oh, I almost forgot. I also suffer from this little ol' condition known as Bipolar Affective Disorder (Manic Depressive in the old lingo). It is both a blessing and a curse. I both love it and hate it. We will be together forever!

That's all I am giving you for now.  I am really looking forward to being a regular poster here.

There is plenty more to come...

Peace,
Brett



Friday, June 8, 2012

It's All About Me.

I am pretty comfortable with who I am.  

Are there things I would like to change?  
Absolutely.

But they are not things that make me who I am.
They are superficial things, like to be thinner, or shorter (yes, you heard that right!)

So, I thought I would write down 5 things that I like/love about myself, and 5 things that are my weaknesses.  I am not sure if I want to change my weaknesses, but it is healthy to recognise them and understand that they are a part of who I am.

So... here we go.

  1. I love the Wife and Mother that I am.  I am proud to have the children I have, and I know that Brett and I are doing a wonderful job.  I believe in my marriage and am very happy with who I am spending my life with.
  2. I love that I am organised.  It comes naturally to me.  I have excellent time management skills and even with 5 children, 8 and under, I am rarely late... and even when I am, it is NEVER more than 15 minutes.
  3. I love that I appreciate the little things.  I always take a moment to soak in things people have said or done for me.
  4. I love that I am a fiercely loyal friend.  Watch out if you hurt someone I love.
  5. I love that I know how to use a drill better than my husband.  I am very resourceful and I can fix anything.  I do not rely on ANYONE and I choose to live with my soulmate.

  1. Cooking is one of my weaknesses.  I can cook basics, and we eat very well, however I do not enjoy it and wish it was a passion.
  2. I can sometimes be too trusting of people and can be easily burnt.  I will never learn my lesson.
  3. I can never eat just one stick of kit-kat.  I need the whole bar!!!
  4. I am talkative and can sometimes say things that get taken completely the wrong way - and I usually don't even know it at the time.  
  5. Hair is a weakness of mine.  I wish I knew how to use a straightener, a curling wand... heck I wish I knew how to do a nice plait.   


And 10 random things about me:

  1. I am 5"8 - 173cm's tall.
  2. My favourite flower is The Peony.
  3. I can touch type at 60WPM.
  4. I do not like liquorice.
  5. I went to 4 schools.  2 primary and 2 high schools.
  6. I am an internationally qualified Ice Hockey Referee.
  7. I can drive a stick.
  8. My favourite cuisine is Mexican.
  9. I am a little afraid of heights.
  10. I can not swim in the ocean.

Now that you know a little more about me... you HAVE to tell me all about you.  

Don't leave me hanging...

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

{Review & Giveaway} The Best Ever Birthday

And The Winner Is....



The "Lolly Shop" birthday cake was my FAVOURITE.  But I never had it.  I am waiting for a year that I get to make it for one of my girls.  And I totally feel for your mum.  I, very badly, made Hayden's 4th birthday cake... it was a disaster.  I was devastated, but he thought it was the BEST cake EVER!  

Congratulations TaureanBabe.  Shoot me an email at fivelittlereasons@me.com

__________________________________________________________________


I love birthday's.  Who doesn't?

But I am a novice when it comes to organising one.  I need help - especially when it comes to themes and food to go with that theme.

Enter an awesome Book:

The Best Ever Birthday by Louise Fulton Keats

recipes inspired by Margaret Fulton



It's Lulu's birthday and she needs to plan her party, but what theme will she choose to make this the best ever birthday?  Join Harry, Grandma and Nutmeg the dog in this storybook and cookbook as they help Lulu prepare for her special day.

The Five Little Reasons loved Lulu and Harry's story and loved deciding what theme their next birthday party would be.

But this book is more than just a story book.  There are heaps of awesome recipes to help theme an "Outer Space" party, a "Fairy" party, a "Dinosaur" party, a "Fancy Chefs" party and more.  Everything from snacks, drinks and even the cake to complete the party theme!

With easy to follow and simple recipes, the kids can easily get involved with the planing of their birthday party.

Lucy and I made the "Rice Paper Rolls" this week and they were devoured instantly - and so healthy.  Who says a party needs to be full of junk food??

Thanks to Nuffnang, I have a copy to give away to one of my readers.  Just leave a comment telling me what your favourite childhood birthday memory is.  Entires close 6pm Thursday 14th June and winner will be announced on Friday 15th June.

Product Talk by Nuffnang as per my disclosure policy.


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Friday, June 1, 2012

Friends of Suger - Your Style

I am off to school for the Book Week Parade, then up to the City to see a friend and meet her new baby girl, then back to School for AusKick, and then tonight Brett and I are off to a Trivia Night.

Busy Busy.

I would love you to pop over to Melissa at Suger Coat It where I am guest posting in her "Friends of Suger" series.




Go and check out my "fashion style" if you can say I have one!

Happy First Day of Winter.

Stay Warm!


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