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Me and My Munchkin

Me and My Munchkin: October 2012

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Navigating Girl World

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How many friends do you have? And how long have you known them? Friends are great. They can egg you on to do that thing you have wanted to do all your life but have been too afraid to do, like travel the world, and they can stop you from making the biggest mistake of your life, like buying that snot-green top that you just walked out of the dressing room wearing.

I love my friends. I've said that before. I have many friends, all in different social circles. I have met them all at different times in my life, in different ways. My best friend in the whole world, for example, I met in primary school. I have another close friend who is my ex boyfriend's sister. Other friends I met online in parenting forums and online mum's groups. 

All of my friends, with the exception of my bestie, have children. You would think that this would mean they would understand when things got a little hectic right?


The last couple of months have been a little... we'll just say chaotic. You have seen a lot of the aftermath on the blog, but just in case you aren't one of my regular readers yet, I'll give you a little summary. I have recently taken on tafe, a casual job, a (relatively new) relationship and have been going through mediation to keep custody of my son. Needless to say, my time (and funds) have been fairly limited. As much as I love my friends, I just can't see everyone at once, and I don't have as much time for everyone as I used to. Unfortunately that has resulted in a bit of bitchiness and de-friending on Facebook.

Like, seriously? De-friending?

When did things get that bad? A forgotten message here and there and a cancelled play date so I can get some study done and I have lost friends? There must be some kind of mistake, right? Well, I don't know. I have seen this all happen before. Granted, I was in high school when this kind of behavior last reared it's ugly head, but sure enough here I am, in my twenties being (ever so slightly) told that "if you don't give up everything for me, then I'm not your best friend anymore". I have never felt so ridiculous in my entire life.

I love watching TV shows of kids in high school. I watched The OC and Laguna Beach through my teen years, and loved the drama and bitchiness that went on between the girls. It meant that what I went through in school was pretty much the norm. Well, it must of been, if it was happening on TV, Yes??? But life went on. I grew up, and although I still love watching both of those shows (my guilty pleasure), I assumed that the bitchiness would stop now that we are older, and mothers.

Boy was I naive.

So I am just going to go about my business I suppose, hoping that I don't lose any more friends along the way. With regards to my other friends, if they bail just because I get a little (OK, a lot!) busy, then they don't deserve to be in the presence of my awesomeness when things start to settle down again!

How often do you see your friends?
Do you still see lots of bitchiness in "girl world"?

Linking up with Twinkle in the Eye and With Some Grace!

Linking up with Jess for IBOT!

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Wednesday, 24 October 2012

A Few Changes... and What Do You Want?

OK, so I am experiencing what they call writers block. It is unusual that I would not have anything to say, but I really don't. Over the next couple of months I will be taking the blog in a bit of a different direction. My life is changing, evolving, if you prefer to use fancy terminology. I am no longer a "single mum". In a few months time I will no longer be living at home with my parents. I will be a part of a family again. I will also be able to start getting my organising groove on, as I will have my own space to organise again.

Of course, Me and My Munchkin will remain a blog about parenting, family life, and chaos. Why would I change the things my loyal readers have been coming here for? I will just be adding in some new "features".

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So I guess what I am hoping from you today, is a few suggestions about what you would love to see at Me and My Munchkin? I want this to be a space where you like to come, where you can laugh at my insanities, but yet perhaps still learn a thing or 2.

So please, do tell. What do you want to see? Organising posts, recipes, menu planning, parenting tips, reviews and giveaways? You tell me, and over the next couple of months, watch Me and My Munchkin transform. I'm so excited to share it all with you!

Linking up this Friday with With Some Grace and Twinkle in the Eye!


Friday, 19 October 2012

Feeling the Pinch

Note: I am a huge believer in things happening for a reason. Within a couple of hours of publishing this post, I had a call from the manager of one of the other stores in the company I worked for previously. They had me in the store late this morning signing paperwork so that I can start work next week as a night filler. Casual hours and close to home. Good to see my little whinge had some effect!

I don't really know how to find the words for this post. I don't even really know what it's about. I have just completed mediation with regards to custody of Master A and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by everything.

I have been a wreck for the last week leading up to this day. Cranky, snappy and tense (a big thanks to Mr M for putting up with me!) I was not really sure what to expect and nervous that things wouldn't go to plan.

Things didn't really go to plan. 

But that's OK. I'm OK. It means that things are set now, and we have a plan of action. But then everything else slots in around it to make me tense. I have been searching for a job for around a month now. After countless job applications and emails stating "The quality of applicants were very high and unfortunately, you did not make the shortlist..." I am starting to feel the pinch, both emotionally and financially. My self esteem is being shot to pieces and my purse is feeling ever so light these days.

Mr M and I have decided to move in together in the new year. This will mean lots of posts on moving, organising and decorating (can you say excited?) of course though it also means that I will need to speed up my process of looking for work. My experience is limited, though not non-existent, however my availability is extremely limited, and making things so much harder.
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So, my mind is feeling a little mushy right now, all of these new dates and figures and responsibilities floating around in my head.

I have seven weeks left of Tafe on a Tuesday night. I have Master A staying overnight at his dad's once a month until January, then it becomes every second weekend. There is less than ten weeks to Christmas, and we start looking for a house to live in. I have to this time to try and find a job, and get back at an even point in my finances (and complete my Christmas shopping) and attempt to have some savings behind me for my car decides to eventually shit itself (excuse the language but my car has been a major source of financial strain these past few months!)
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I am hoping that I can push through all of this and come out on the other side, much better off. I only have to make it through the next 2 months...

Linking up with Twinkle in the Eye and With Some Grace

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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Slowing Down

I have always admired country towns. They have such a sense of character and community, and it always feels so different to living in the busy city.

Mr M and I took an overnight trip down to the Fleurieu Peninsula on the weekend to visit his family. I organised to leave Master A with my parents for the night (doing a little happy dance) packed up the car and started on the hour and a half drive down south.

Goolwa Beach
When I got there the first thing I noticed was the gorgeous beaches. Much rougher than the beaches where I live, they are surf beaches. Now I have seen Jaws way too many times to go jumping into waters like this, but it was fun and maybe a little romantic to walk along the shore hand in hand, my head on his shoulder... ok so it wasn't like that, but it certainly was nice.

The second thing I noticed when meeting Mr M's family for the first time, was how relaxed they all are. I start every day in full-on-mode. From the moment I wake til the moment I go to bed it is go, go, go.

"Need to make sure that this is done before dinner."

"Have to go to the shops and get this before they close."

"Make sure I don't forget to do this or the whole world might end."

When was the last time I just pottered around the house or garden, having a BBQ with family and friends, taking the dog for a stroll down the beach, just generally enjoying life and having fun?

I'll let you in on a little secret. Now, don't get too shocked, but I am a total stress head. I worry about everything, and I go through life at about 110km an hour. As I watched people go about their daily lives in such relaxed ways it made me realize how much I want that kind of lifestyle, for me and Master A.

It scares me just how much Master A is like me. He's clumsy, loves to talk and definitely has a sweet tooth, all just like his Mummy. One thing that I would rather he didn't inherit from me, would be my stressed out attitude. I want him to take the time to enjoy life, not rush through it like he has to race to the next finish line.

"Why are you rushing everywhere? The world isn't going to close!"

I could not remember where I read that quote if my life depended on it, but it was the very wise words of a child no older than about six. Why is it that we learn to grow up and spend our "down time" rushing around, trying to get everything finished? Why do we spend so much time at the shops, buying things?

One thing I noticed was that at 9pm on Saturday night, the only thing open in the town was one of the few service stations. All of the shops, service stations, Subway were all closed. Yet the McDonalds where I live is open 24 hours.

The people that I had the pleasure of spending the weekend with seemed to take the attitude of "work to live" rather than "live to work". It's all about the family.

The beautiful Horseshoe Bay
I guess my question is, when did we become such a busy and stressed society that can't even take the time to have a lazy breakfast with family on a Sunday morning, and how do I convert my behaviour, in order to save myself and my child from a life of stress, speed and demands?

When was the last time you had a mini-getaway?
Do you rush through life, or take the time to take "romantic" walks along the beach?

Linking up with the ever so fabulous Jess for IBOT

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Monday, 15 October 2012

Fun things to do with little kids this spring

Disclaimer: Please note that this post was sponsored and written by Karimums with my own editing. 

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Spring is a beautiful time of year: the weather is warming up, the flowers are blooming, and the days are getting that little bit longer. Spring is the perfect time to spend more time with your kids outdoors, or even just a great opportunity to do something new and different to change up that tired winter routine. If you're stuck for ideas on what to do with your little kids this spring, use these ideas as inspiration for a fun season.

Spend more time outdoors
Remember when you were going through your pregnancy, and you spent plenty of time outdoors amongst nature? Well, spring is the perfect time to rekindle your family's love affair with the great outdoors. You don't have to go hiking or climb mountains; instead, take your kids to the local park every night, or take a long weekend and drive up to the beaches - your kids will love having the space to run around, and you'll love the feeling of getting out of the house or the office. If that's still difficult, then try to make use of your backyard or courtyard - have your children help you with a bit of flower picking, or sit with them and make some daisy chains again.

Get the creative juices flowing
With so many beautiful flowers and insects around, your kids won't be lacking creative inspiration. Put that inspiration to use, and get them to strap their artistic cap on! Whether it's finger-painting, making butterflies out of coloured paper, or taking some photos of the local flora and fauna, there are a myriad of ways to get your children back in touch with the Picasso within. If your kids like writing, take them out to a local bush and then have them write about what they did and saw while they were there; on the other hand, if you have some budding cooks, then bake a few cupcakes and ask your kids to decorate them in a way that reminds them of spring.

Try something new
Spring is a time of new beginnings, so why not get your children to try something they've never done before? Make a 'spring bucket list', and spend some time putting together a few new things that they want to do before the season is up. Maybe your child wants to learn how to rollerblade, or to get really good at goalkeeping. By making a spring bucket list and crossing off things once they have been completed, you'll also teach your children about the benefits of setting goals - it'll give them a sense of accomplishment when they cross it off, and that can come in handy at all stages of their life.

No matter what you decide to do with your kids this spring, make sure to take advantage of the beautiful sunshine and inject some extra positivity into your family's day. Remember - summer's just around the corner!

Taylor Jacobs is a mummy who is trying to get into the habit of writing and scrapbooking. Her favourite thing about spring is the beautiful flowers - she's going to make a trip to see the Floriade festival this year.

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Friday, 12 October 2012

The Motivation Journal

Do you remember the old high school journal?

You know:
"Dear diary,
Today Thomas looked at me. He actually noticed I was there!"

Aahhh, the good old days of simplicity. When your most complicated issue was making sure you had studied for your maths test or that your best friend had stopped talking to you.

Either way, I know that my journal got me through so much of it all. Recently, I started a motivation journal. I guess in a way it's like the good old high school journal, but it's purpose, is to give me a kick in my procrastinating butt and make me take action.

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I struggle with motivation. I'm the first to admit I can be a little lazy at times. I am also easily overwhelmed. This is when I'm least likely to take action. So when I have an issue, or a big project, I sit down with my motivation journal and think it out, I make plans.

This is also where I keep my "vision pages". I don't have space for a vision board, so in its place I cut out pictures of things I want and glued them in to my motivation journal. I feel so young doing some cutting and pasting!

On Me and My Munchkin's Facebook page I used to post one thing I was grateful for on a daily basis. That dwindled away when I got busy or forgot to post, so although I don't do it on Facebook, I still try to get in my journal at least once a week and make a list of things I'm grateful for. My most recent list was things about me that are great. I've been having a few problems with self love the last few weeks, so this was perfect.

The motivation journal is very similar to a regular journal, but I make sure it's much more positive. I found with previous journals they could be very negative, only speaking of problems. I make sure to include things I'm excited about, wishes for the future, and if I have an issue to write about, I always make sure that I write a possible solution to the problem.

So do I have you convinced? Want your own motivation journal? My only advice is to make sure you pick out a pretty notebook to use. I always find it so much easier to write when the journal is pretty!

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Did you keep a journal in high school?
Do you keep one now?

It's Friday so I am flogging my blog over with the lovely Grace at With Some Grace, head over there for even more awesome bloggers!

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Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Bitter to Bad Ass in 12 Months!

After looking at my diary I realized that today marks 12 months since I became a single Mum. Yes I know, I know, not exactly an achievement to be boasting about (how to lose a guy in 10 days, anyone?) but it does mean that I now have 12 months of growing and extreme shocks to the system under my belt.

Look at it this way, 12 months ago I was unhappy, wallowing in self pity and bitterness, balancing on the borderline between depression and auto pilot mode. I was lonely, kidding myself by saying I was ready to move on (and yes, move on is exactly what I did). I was feeling so guilty about leaving my ex, breaking his heart and taking his son away from him. By the way, I should really add that I'm really not a bitch, generally speaking!

Me 12 months ago
I have done so much growing in the last year I hardly recognize that girl anymore. I say girl deliberately. I was not acting like a grown up. I have been forced to grow up now. I no longer have anyone to fall back on. Yes I have support, and it is great. But when it comes to my son, I'm his mother, I'm his primary carer and it is my responsibility to look after his best interests.

I know how excited you all to hear about how different I am today so here it is: I take responsibility for my actions. When I make a decision Master A is the first thing that crosses my mind. After a year long battle with my ex that has turned nasty, I no longer feel guilty, as he shows that he has no respect for me. I became comfortable in my own company, even enjoying it. It was then that I met Mr M. He has added joy to my life, but he hasn't "completed" it. I have finally left the past exactly where it needed to be: In the past! This is something that has taken me 5 years to do. Most of all, I am happy! Of course, I have my days where it all gets too much. Who doesn't? Seriously, do you know anyone that doesn't? But the point is, I am much happier, and grown up since being on my own, and that is what tells me I made the right decision.

Me 12 days ago
Where were you emotionally 12 months ago?
Have you ever looked at your past self and not recognized them?
How about someone you know? Or thought you knew?

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Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A Letter to 17 Year Old Me

Dear 17 year old me,

It's ok. Really, it is. You don't need to know the answers to the world. You don't need to stress about the future. The future will happen, whether or not you get worked up about it. And while you're at it, don't be in such a rush to grow up. Take your time and enjoy it. Live dangerously and have some fun. The responsibility will still be there later on.

Don't worry about getting your heart broken. Yes you've been with him for years but he really isn't the right guy for you. It will take you a few years and yes, more heart breaks before you find someone who's right for you. But never be afraid to be alone. You will get to that point I promise.

Find things that you love to do. And do them well. It will take you awhile before you find a career that you love. Yes, you will fail, but you will also succeed. As the saying goes, dust yourself and try again.

PLEASE learn more about style. Even in your twenties you still have no idea and dress like a slob 9/10 times!

If I only had one thing I could tell you, save your pennies! Adapt a no-shopping life, and for gods sake, stay away from credit cards and personal loans!

Finally, believe in yourself. You CAN do it, you ARE smart and you only need to apply yourself to whatever it is you are doing to succeed. Work hard, play harder and be good to your family and friends because you will need their support one day.

Twenty-something year old you.

A 17-year-old me
Linking up with Jess at Diary of a SAHM for IBOT!

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Friday, 5 October 2012

Review: Natures Cuppa Organic Tea + Giveaway!

This giveaway has ended. Thank you to all who entered, the winners have now been drawn. Congratulations to Taryn and Lisa!

My readers who have followed me right from the beginning of my blog would know that I have never been a tea or coffee drinker. I am a reformed iced-coffee addict, but never got into the whole cup of tea or skinny latte thing.

Well, I am adapting a bit of a lifestyle change. On my to-do list accompanying said lifestyle change was to find a flavor of tea that I enjoyed and found soothing and calming.

You can imagine my delight when I received a pack of Nature's Cuppa Organic Tea in the post. Nature's Cuppa is certified Fairtrade, and their tea and coffee are 100% eco-organic and environmentally sustainable.

Their range of tea and coffee include:
  • Ceylon Tea
  • English Breakfast
  • Green Tea
  • Earl Grey
  • Peppermint
  • Chamomile
  • Chai Spice Tea
  • Freeze Dried Coffee
  • Espresso
  • Non-Organic Coffee Alternative (caffeine free)
In the past I have had the odd cup of tea though never really enjoyed it. When my samples arrived in the post I dived right in, trying each flavour with the exception of the Chai Spice and the coffee, which Mr M and my Mum tried instead. I was pleasantly surprised and have now found my new afternoon drink! 

So which flavour came out on top for me?

Definitely going to go with the Earl Grey tea. I found it much sweeter than the other flavours and lets face it, I really do have a sweet tooth!

Nature's Cuppa is available to purchase from Woolworths, Coles, IGA, selected Foodworks and health food stores and also from their website.

Nature's Cuppa are also giving away not one but two awesome sample packs to Me and My Munchkin readers. They contain a selection of flavours including English Breakfast, Chai Spice, Green Tea, Ceylon Tea, Peppermint, Earl Grey, Ceylon for tea pots and Freeze Dried Coffee.

Terms and Conditions
1. This giveaway is open to Australian residents only
2. Entries close at 12:01am on 12/10/2012
3. Winners must make contact within 4 days of being contacted otherwise a new winner will be drawn
4.Winners are chosen randomly by Rafflecopter
5. Prizes can not be transferred or redeemed for cash or any other prizes
6. Prizes will not be replaced in the event that they are lost or damaged in transit
7. Once the giveaway is completed and winners chosen, there will be no correspondence entered into regarding choice of winners.

Disclaimer: I have not received any money for publishing this post. I was sent a sample pack to review and all opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

It's Friday so I'm flashing my blog over at Twinkle in the Eye, and of course flogging it as well, over at With Some Grace. Head over and check out some awesome bloggers!

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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

A Boy Turns Two!

On Saturday, Master A turned 2. I was looking forward to it for months, though at the same time not wanting my baby to grow up.

I am good at different things, but birthday parties really aren't a part of my range of skills. However, I managed to pull off a very basic party at our local playground.

A beautiful sunny afternoon in the middle of a rainy weekend, my awesome friends and family, and the help of my Mum and Mr M meant that we had a fun, relaxing day. Here are just a few photos:

Linking up with Twinkle in the Eye and My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Sick Little Munchkins

I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed a few days ago, and came across an interesting post. It was a reader question from The Imperfect Mum. You can visit the Facebook page here.

The question basically outlined "sick child etiquette". The poster had asked whether it was acceptable for her to cancel on her friends at the last minute and not babysit their children if they were sick, as she didn't want the germs in her house.

As you can imagine, there was an array of responses, ranging from "you did exactly what I would do" to "I think you were a bit extreme in these circumstances" to the rather unhelpful "you're a terrible friend and a complete bitch".

So it got me thinking, when is it acceptable to ask your friends to catch up for a playdate, or babysit your children when they are sick?

My sick little Munchkin
I am a mother that likes my child home with me when he is sick. Especially if it's asthma-related. Most of the time, if Master A is sick, he won't even go to his dad's house for the day. If it's only a cold and a bit of a cough, he will go, otherwise he stays home with me.

What about playdates?

I will always disclose if Master is or has been sick in the last week, and allow the other parent to make the decision if they still want to attend the playdate with us. However, this is only if it's a cold, mild asthma or a bit of a teething fever. Anything along the lines of gastro, the flu, a more severe bout of asthma or tonsillitis and I cancel altogether. I don't want to spread our germs and make others sick.

Unfortunately I am not always offered the same courtesy. I can't even count the amount of times we have turned up for a playdate and found out that everyone in the house is sick. Of course I don't want to look rude by turning around and leaving, however I do wish that I was told before we got there.

This seems to be a very personal issue, with opinions varying from person to person. Some people would rather expose their children to illness in hopes of building their immune system, others saying simply that kids will get sick anywhere. Then some saying they try to keep out of contact with sick people to prevent their children getting sick.

Me? I make an informed decision at the time. How sick is the person? What is it they have? Is the illness overly contagious and also what are my plans like for the next week. Do we have a full week coming up that neither of us can afford to get sick? If so then better to be safe than sorry.

No I can't stop my child from getting sick, but I can help to prevent it, and that is what I will do.

What do you do when your child is sick?
Do you send them to daycare or take them on playdates?
Have you ever turned up to a playdate to find the other child sick?

Linking up with the lovely Jess from Diary of a SAHM for IBOT

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