Hip to be Square

This week crazy – so here’s a shot of our life. Bikes in the hallway waiting for little men to grow big enough to ride.

How’s your hipstamatic? Play along with your shot of the week! Add the link to your shot in the comments below πŸ™‚



I always seem to look to Maxabella Loves when I have been hit by a truck…. so once again…..

This week I am grateful:

Grateful that my beautiful big boy is confident enough to start school and enjoy it without us by his side.

Grateful for my wonderful man who has supported me through a really shit day yesterday – in addition to forging ahead with me on the huge goals we’ve set for ourselves this year

Grateful for a 3yr old who promises to look after me anytime she’s sees through my facade (isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?)

Grateful that in spite of a week where I couldn’t even think of posting, I have this space to come back to and other beautiful blogs to inspire me πŸ™‚

Thank you Maxabella Loves for keeping us all grateful πŸ™‚

Hip to be Square

Well, this Monday is predictable but I guess we all mark the important times in our lives.
Mile’s first day of school today *sniff*

Have you had your iPhone out? Been taking hipstamatic shots? Add them to the linky – can’t wait to see!

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OK, today is part first day of school, part cycling, part Mark Cavendish and part craft. Woo hoo!

Miles starts school tomorrow. First. Day. Ever! I could wax lyrical about how devastated I am but in truth I’ve been better today than I have been all week so I’m hoping for good things tomorrow.

Miles had been inspired by the Tour Down Under and had booked a race with The Daddy at the Crit track in Brissy at 10am this morning (very specific and very serious). On went the kit and we all headed out. Miss 3 tootled about with me while the boys slammed it – Miles commentating the whole time, it’s freaking hysterical – he has Phil Liggitt down pat! And you should have seen his salutes as he passed the finish line – he was kissing two fingers…. who does that!! (no seriously who does that? please let me know!)

Anyhoo as we were leaving we spot the kids next to us with a small road bike, the exact one we were going to get Miles for his 6th Birthday in September – and the kid on it is way too big for it, so our Daddy did some negotiation with his Daddy and home came Miles’ new road bike! He won’t fit it for a while but he’s super duper excited and it was a bargain to boot! Given how many road bikes we’ll be buying in his future we need to save where we can – or he better get bloody good bloody quickly to get sponsorship! πŸ˜‰ I’m Miles – I ride Specialized

So we’ve covered Cycling…. what about school and craft and Cav – OK.

I went to cover Miles’ school books in Disney Cars contact when he remarked ‘Mum, didn’t you tell me you’d put bike racers on them?’ hmmmmm so I did! OK!

You’ll need:-
Your child’s school books
Several old cycling (or other) magazines
A glass of wine (optional but recommended)

It’s so easy – get your little one to pick out the pics they want
Cut the pics out and arrange them as you like on the book
Stick them on
Label the book
Contact over the top (here’s where the glass of wine comes in handy!, if you’ve not used contact before you’ll thank me….)

Now Miles has books that no other kid in the class has and they mean something really special to him.

So that’s cycling, school, craft and …. oh lots of Cav pictures used – there you go!

And now to tomorrow…..! I’m going no make-up and packing tissues. Wish me luck πŸ™‚

Days of decay

hmmmm – with all of the brilliant cycling goodness that the boys brought back from Adelaide I’m tempted to keep writing about that.

OR I could talk about the first day of school but that’s 3 days away (oh god help me I’m not even remotely coping!)

But we have plenty of time for both of those.

Yesterday I was talking to the lovely Carol Duncan about why my kids are on a no sugar diet. The first thing I’d think if someone told me their kids are ‘no sugar’ was that they were hippies – you wouldn’t be too far wrong, I mean we went to uni in Lismore, smoked dope and like to grow our own veggies…. well we had a herb garden once πŸ˜‰ But we’re not total hippies. Post uni I actually had a career in gaming, music and media and was quite happy. I am the stereotypical ex-professional mum who tried to do the best by her kids. My kids had never eaten KFC, Pizza Hut or McDonalds until on the way up to Brissy last year we needed a playground mid-drive (they rejected the food), I tried to make healthy food choices with treats thrown in (mostly for bribery), the kids ate what we ate for main meals but snacks were rice crackers, natural muesli bars, sultanas and other dried fruit, their drink was Schwepps Lime cordial (not the bright green stuff) and apple juice, they ate yogurt and had the occasional bribe of a lollypop or lemonade iceblock and their common treat was Milk Arrowroot biccies. I thought I had it all under control, I was healthy but balanced.

At 2 Tilly started showing a shadow on her front two teeth which didn’t look right – I took her to a paedeatric dentist just before coming to brissy who said it was unusual for the decay to be on the flat of her teeth (it normally occurs between teeth) but he put fluride on it and said to keep an eye on it. After moving to Brisbane I was heading to a mothers group and turned in the car to talk to Tilly to see that one of her front teeth was broken half off!. I found the nearest kids dentist and got her in for an emergency appointment, and after that (plus several more second opinions) the result was that she suffered from enamel dysplasia – or failure of the enamel to be formed properly on her teeth, hers was due to birth trauma. (A lack of oxygen at birth combined with a tube in her mouth for resuscitation.)

If you told me that a two year old needed two caps, two lots of root work and two flat fillings I would say that you fed the child full of junk and never brushed their teeth. This wasn’t me and yet this was the treatment I was being recommended – the THIRD dentist I saw was really honest with me. She told me this:

* all of the snack foods and drinks I was giving my kids was essentially sugary junk.
* my kids should only drink water and milk
* no sugar! which for us meant sweets, lollies, iceblocks
* no processed snack foods which stick to teeth
* never ever in the rest of their lives would they have another lollypop
* they could eat contraband only on birthdays and holidays i.e. easter and Christmas.

Now, let me tell you I was DEVASTATED! I had spent years thinking I’d been making the right choices only to find out that Uncle Toby’s Apricot Bars specifically designed not to stick to teeth – BAD, dried fruit contained concentrated fruit sugars AND stuck to teeth… sultanas? BAD! every choice I thought was healthy was BAD!

The dentist said to me – I’ll fix her teeth, you fix her diet. I cried and I cried and I cried. That mother guilt is a beautiful thing! once I got past that I went shopping, and it was hard – I mean really hard. what do I feed them? and moreover what will they eat?

So now they eat fruit, fruit and more fruit. They still eat what we have for dinner but snacks are fruit mostly, with nuts, some natural yogurt, salami and cheese. They never ask for a drink that’s not water or milk and they are really hungry at meals and can eat a huge amount (of course it helps that they are sporty and need to fuel their bicycle and swimming addictions!). People ask me how I cope with it – and it was hard at first BUT we treat it like an allergy, they know what they are and are not allowed to eat and they know why. If someone offers them contraband they either decline politely or (if they’re really tempted) they ask me and I say no and we talk again about why. They understand that other kids can eat things that they can’t and at the moment they’re ok with that. After nearly a year they really truly get it, and my shopping has become much, much easier – and I’m happier with what they are eating and if Tilly’s teeth were fixed tomorrow I wouldn’t change a thing.

The down side? Poor old Miles has had to change his diet too as in our house we can’t have rules for one and not the other. The Daddy and I no longer are allowed things that the kids can’t eat – that wouldn’t be fair. The kids obsess about ‘sugar’ foods when they are allowed them and at a party can be found at the food table scoffing as many ‘sugar’ items as they can fit. But they have also learnt that this gives them a tummy ache and are starting to learn restraint.

There is one more thing worth mentioning. The effects of sugar on behaviour. I was hyperactive as a kid and mum put me on a no-sugar diet that changed everything. Because my kids don’t eat sugar it only takes one lolly or chocolate to change everything! They stop listening. They start getting louder. They start running crazy. Their eyes glaze over. I can tell if either of them has had junk without anyone telling me. Once we cut out the sugar I realised that all of their behaviour in the past had been influenced by a low, constant sugar high. Scary stuff but true. (eerily MSG also has the same effect!)

I’m not out here to change the world or your kids diets. I’m not telling anyone to go no-sugar (shit it’s hard even though it’s worthwhile) but I do wish someone had told me prior to several thousand dollars of dental work that I was feeding my kids unhealthy choices, in spite of what we are let to believe by the media. So there it is, now I’m telling you.

Lastly Tilly’s journey is not over, there’s a chance that her adult canines will be affected and in her teen years when the choices are hers I can’t believe that she will go against peer pressure and end up sugar free but I am trying to at least get her to the point of making her own educated decisions.

Cross your fingers for me….. and check out the awesomeness that is Lazy Town on teeth cleaning

What do you wish you’d known, or that someone had told you prior to having kids?

I don’t suck but wish I did….

Inevitability of the day….

Our vacuum cleaner hasn’t worked since we moved – so suffice to say that the floors are pretty damn gross. Instead of replacing the broken part I got swindled sold a new gorgeous red hoover. Of course I’ve come home from dinner tonight and still have not managed to take it out of the plastic. I kinda feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Lady when she finally bought a dress and still hadn’t changed out of her hooker gear πŸ˜‰ *sigh*

Maybe I’d crack it out if I had that gorgeous red dress to clean in πŸ˜€

Hip to Be Square

As anyone who knows me would be aware: my iPhone was broken for sometime – I was devastated. However I have a new one now and my hipstamatic addiction is restored.
This week the boys have been in Adelaide for the Tour Down Under so the chicks have been hanging out. I took this while Tilly was eating breaky – I love the way she accessorises her nighty πŸ™‚

Lens: Kaimal Mark II
Film: DreamCanvas
Flash: off

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Dream Ride

How are your dreams hanging? Mine it seems are riding off into the sunset….I used to have many, but at some point I think that living took over from dreaming. I have plenty of time left but my list seems to have shrunk, in fact I’m not sure that I could think of any really passionate ‘bucket list’ type dreams that I pine for. One the other hand – my son’s dreams are huge and many, he’s had no one tell him that they’re unachievable yet and he doesn’t understand the enormity of what he expects is possible. I LOVE that! πŸ˜€ It must be awesome to be 5!

I’ve written before about how much Miles loves cycling himself as well as professional cycling. This week The Daddy and Miles took off from our temporary flood refuge in brissy to chase a dream (after all dreams stop for no surging river!)- they headed to Adelaide with the hope of meeting Miles’ favourite rider Mark Cavendish. If you don’t follow cycling, I would equate it to meeting Bros when they owed us nothing, or a Spice Girl when they were touring Britain in a union jack double decker bus….. well perhaps not – I think David Beckham would be a better analogy than Posh. Cav is Miles’ hero.

It must feel strange at 5 to have achieved your biggest dream but here it is. The boys spotted Cav on his way back from a training ride and The Daddy called him over to meet Milo. What does Miles want to do next? Why firstly ride with Cav, then beat him in the tour of course πŸ™‚ Dream big baby!!

The pic is for the girls – but feel free to enjoy it too boys πŸ˜‰

Have you achieved your dreams? Have you got a bucket list?

Once more unto the breach dear friends once more…..

Should I post again about the flood? Do people want to hear? Once more unto the breach dear friends once more…..

My daughter and I are back home, our house didn’t flood and electricity is restored. We are safe and we are lucky. There are many who don’t have half that much.

I mentioned on Facebook that things were bizarre in Brisbane at the moment, a friend commented that perhaps I chose a strange description. The truth is that I can only say it’s bizarre because we’re safe – otherwise I would have many more adjectives. But driving around feels like a war zone. Very few people are working, there’s been precious little electricity and many drop sheets and sandbags.

People have been advised to stay home so there’s not much traffic on the roads and there are so many road closures that travel is challenging if you had to. There is almost no public transport. The water is everywhere and if people aren’t fending it off they are walking down to the river to see – it’s like slowing down to see a car crash, no one can quite believe it.

Neighbours that never talk are staying together, people that have never met are helping sandbag and move furniture and we talk to people in the supermarket that we’ll never see again because none of us can really believe it.

Everyone I know has done SOMETHING towards the floods, they filled sandbags, took in refugees or checked on a neighbour. This is a community devastation. If you live here I can say this, it may not have flooded your house but I damn well know that you didn’t just get up and go to work today like nothing was wrong. You couldn’t. We couldn’t.

The news is on all the time. And yet sometimes we need a break from the disaster – a joke or a distraction. Something that reminds us that this is not all consuming. So please make a joke, write a funny blog post – make us laugh, cause as a city we’re going to need a few to get through this. And we will get through it – and I say this as a Sydney immigrant! Maybe being here is our official induction, perhaps by getting through this we are now locals whether we like it or not πŸ™‚

For all the negative there is so much positive – I can only imagine that we will come out a stronger BrisVegas from it, or should I say BrisVenice πŸ˜‰

Lastly, thank you for your thoughts and your wishes for us personally and for everyone in Brisbane. I can’t say how much it means – what I’ve heard more than anything is ‘we wish we could do something’ or ‘we feel so helpless’ but just knowing that people care is amazing. I can’t speak for the people that have no house – I highly doubt they’re checking twitter, but for someone like me knowing that we are in your thoughts means the world and that’s enough.

See you when the tide goes out πŸ˜€


apocalypse now

“God said to Noah there’s gonna be a floody floody
It started raining it started to get muddy muddy”

I’m sure a lot of people will be blogging about the QLD floods after all it’s pretty spectacular. Mother Nature really has a way of putting us in our place! But given it’s been on our minds all day it was the only thing that I really wanted to blog about.

I don’t worry about too much about the big stuff (I sweat the little things like no-one’s business!), I kinda try to take the inevitable on the chin as much as I can – I anticipate that the media over hype situations and we’ll all be ok in the end. Ridiculous I know but it’s the kinda ‘bury my head in the sand’ philosophy that has served me well over the years and got me through some crazy shit (thanks to whoever is watching out for me by the way!).

I had an appointment with the Apple Geniuses to fix my mobile this arvo so was planning to head over to Chermside (Brissy North), we live in Bulimba just south on the river. The Daddy is currently working on client site with the Queensland Police Service so he had up to date info on the flooding and was calling with such messages as ‘I’m probably over-reacting but maybe we should do a shop for some staples just to be on the safe side’ and ‘our house is in the flood zone but only West End is under for now’… finally came ‘I don’t think you should go out – Sandgate Rd is under’, this being one of the roads I had to traverse to get my phone fixed.

Now, those who know me know that this much is true – I adore my iPhone so I wasn’t going to let a little thing like a flood stop me from getting my phone fixed. ‘Don’t worry, we’ll be fine – the road closures are further north and I’ll be careful’. (*Yes, I am an idiot*). I bundled the kids in the car and we headed out, before we even got out of the suburb the traffic was obscene and there was water all over the roads. Time for a reassessment. I’m on the road with two kids and no mobile phone in a torrential downpour and potentially flooded roads. Time to bail out.

Back I went via the supermarket. Woolworths looked like a third world country – there was nothing on those god damned shelves. No bread at all, no water, no candles, no torches, no batteries and an over 30 minute wait for a cash register. Because the last big brissy storm was the night before we moved house and we had a blackout which necessitated eating the only food in the house (macadamia nuts, ice cream, red wine and bourbon) I decided this time we’d be prepared, I even bought things on the contraband list such as muesli bars and chips just in case. Can I just say that my kids were freaking awesome in the Supermarket even with all the crowds and they waited all that time in the line like a dream – they really came through when I needed them too (you rock kids!). I came home and The Daddy baked some bread so we were as organised as we could be without actually packing a bag. Funny, but I can’t bring myself to pack – it’s like it brings on the inevitable, I couldn’t pack for hospital when I was pregnant as I decided that would start labour and now I’m convinced that if we’re ready to leave here then we’ll have to, as I said before – I’m completely nuts!

Betty, our wonderful 80yr old neighbour was here during the 1974 floods and assures us that it only just broke the river bank at the bottom of our street then, so we still feel quite safe but we are on alert and are keeping an ear out for the latest as we are really ridiculously close to water. I haven’t been watching the news as I don’t want the kids to see what’s going on, but Twitter is a constant source of info and QPS are doing an amazing job.

The Daddy has gone out to volunteer filling sandbags and I am at home watching news feeds and photos of flooding on the net. My heart breaks for those without homes or in need of help – I want to offer our house but don’t want to take people and animals only to ask them to move again if we evacuated. I wish there was more we could do – but for now all we can do is wait.

Thank you to all of our friends who have sent messages of support via phone, Facebook and Twitter. I almost feel guilty as we are all so dry and comfortable in our house and I think those beautiful wishes should go to the people with no homes, who have lost everything including loved ones. I know that some of my friends think I am being lackadaisical about our safety but please let me assure you that I wouldn’t put my kids at risk no matter what – I just don’t think at this stage we are in imminent danger.

Thank you everyone. Your thoughts mean the world.
Now please shut up while I go on making fun of the whole situation – it’s how I cope after all πŸ™‚

With love