Friday, April 29, 2011

Things I Know

- My babygirl is a total nightowl. I am not. It's an interesting situation.

- I love the relationship between my two boys. Little boy utterly adores big boy, and the feeling is mutual.

- My toddler boy is so delightful with the babygirl. When he's not sitting on her.

- My girls are beautiful. I am so so thrilled that my big girl has a sister. I have three and am incredibly blessed in them. Love them all so much. And one is arriving from rAdelaide tonight for the weekend and I can't wait to see her!!!

- Babies are so delicious, even if they grow up far too quickly. Luckily I will have a new baby to love all over around the time my own baby turns one. And I don't even have to grow or birth this one! Yay for a new niece or nephew!!

I'm playing Things I Know with Yay for Home! Come and play with us!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I saw the Lucky Bus yesterday in a relatively unexpected place, so I just knew some good news was on the way.

This morning a couple of phone calls may have indicated just that. It can be very tricky living with a supertrucker whose shifts can be a bit random so the power of the Lucky Bus is greatly appreciated right now. I'm gonna throw in a Kthxbai just to lock it in.

My big kids are back at school, and the house is abnormally quiet. I'm grateful that they are both doing so well and that my big boy in particular seems to have finally settled in. He has two great teachers which is just wonderful. We had two and a half weeks off which for me was just the right amount of time to enjoy each other but not get too cranky. The beautiful crisp Autumn days of the past week have helped a lot too.

The supertrucker has been home for quite a long stretch (for him) and it's so awesome having him here. The big kids feel it the most when he is away, with their school hours and his work hours they often miss each other so they have loved having the extra time with Daddy.

Lots to be thankful for this Thursday. How about you?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

A money box shaped like a car. This is the very definition of irony to me at the moment.

I'm playing Wordless Wednesday with My Little Drummer Boys. Come and play along!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A place to play

Fact: When six people live in a smallish house, how you use your space is really important.

Fact: At least two people in this house lean towards the hoarder end of the scale (I'm looking at you supertrucker and master seven!) whilst I am a chronic declutterer and systems junkie.

Fact: Sometimes all it takes is a little inspiration (like the kid space makeover at Yay for Home!), some lateral thinking and a heap of energy to make your space more workable!

This is where we began. My two big kids each had their own rooms but were more than happy to give sharing a room a go for a while so we could create a playroom for them. My kids have a. lot. of. stuff. Too much says minimalist me. So I had my work cut out to get their rooms emptied and cleaned for re-sorting.

A boy's bedroom
A girl's bedroom.
I literally removed everything except the beds and put it all in our family room. This is how it looked. This is also the point where I began questioning my sanity in attempting it at all!

Stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff, stuff.

But I pushed on (mindful of the fact that I have the BEST FREAKIN' BABY IN THE WORLD who was happy to just roll around and giggle and be gorgeous while I slogged) and finally after many hours I was done. 

A big kid bedroom. With bonus baby.

A girls favourite doona on her bed.

From the doorway.

Now here's what I love most about our new playroom. We have a lot of 'gender specific' toys although all the kids play with them. Having a 'girl' room and a 'boy' room didn't really allow for much crossover whereas I'm hoping this setup will give the kids equal access to whatever they want at any given time.

I was also really keen to have a good space for toddler-boo who loves screen time (the boy is a genius with an iPhone) in preference to a lot of other things. I have no issue with some screen time but want him to have other options on offer all the time. Hopefully he will make those choices a bit more often if they are easily accessible to him and he feels some ownership of the space as well.

The old school desks (literally) hold the big kids' precious and more personal items. Next to those is an old VCR/DVD shelf with drawing kits in them and the dollhouses on top. Next to that is a small bookshelf with tubs of assorted toys in them... army men, barbies, ponies and Toy Story characters. The pink bucket in front of it has baby toys and the basket you can see holds all the toy cars.

The coffee table is great! The supertrucker's grandfather made it, and the legs have open spaces in them which are great for storage. Underneath it I've put individual containers with art stuff in them... pens, pencils, textas, crayons, scissors, glue, tape, and other assorted fun-to-play-with bits and pieces. Easy to access, easy to hide away.
In the corner is a unit containing a huge box of blocks, a games shelf and puzzle shelf, and the big boy's precious Lego box at the top. The blue pulley tub has some of the toddler's favourite toys in it and the bookshelf is full of books. The foldout couch and beanbag are there to encourage relaxing with a book, I love that my bigs are learning to read and enjoying it so much. Oh and the words on the wall aren't 'cos I'm a hard-core hothousing Mum. They're there because I had them and wanted to hude some of the nastier marks on the walls!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Win Disney's Snow White on DVD and BluRay!

Oh Snow White.

When I was a little girl (back in the olden days according to my children) I had a friend who had beautiful long blonde hair. I had wavy brown hair and was extremely envious. The only upside to my mousiness was the fact that when we played Snow White and Rose Red I got to be Snow White. That was extremely cool. Of course when we played Snow White and Cinderella I NEVER got to be Cinderella and because she was a year older than me no matter what we played my actual role was pretty Cinderellesque. Hmmmph.

I digress.

We have a little 'family movie night' tradition at our house. On a Friday or Saturday night we'll all sit down to watch a movie together. Often we're at the mercy of whatever is on television... those nights you may find me hiding behind my laptop and pretending to watch along. But this particular night we had a copy of the Disney classic Snow White to watch and for once I actually sat down and really watched with the kids.

The thing that struck me most, having not seen this movie in many many years (but having loved it as a child myself) is how much of the storyline is picked up in the soundtrack. So many of our kids movies are explained to within an inch of their lives, even my children commented that 'they don't talk too much do they?'. The power of the music accompanying the film can't be overlooked and my own little 6 year old princess was very taken with it.

Of course the red hot favourites were the seven dwarves. My (neglecterino) children were vaguely familiar with the story but seeing the dwarves in action really engaged them. Predictably we've had days of heigh-ho heigh-ho ever since, but I'd much prefer that to some of the other music they listen to!

We were all suitably horrified when the Evil Queen tricked Snow White into biting the apple (sorry, did you need a spoiler warning?)... she is truly a scary character and there was lots of boo hissing in our loungeroom every time she appeared.

It was lovely to spend a family movie night where ALL of us enjoyed what we were watching, and the length of the movie was perfect for my easily distracted big kids (aged 6 and 7). I will admit I waited until toddler boy was in bed as he is very sensitive and I didn't want the nasty old Queen to freak him out.

From 30th June 2011 Snow White and the Seven Dwarves will return to the Disney Vault, so be sure to add this to your collection while you can.

I have one copy of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves to give away!

Entry is easy, simply become a follower of this blog and reply to this post with a comment on which of the Dwarves best describes you.

For an extra entry just tweet about this giveaway (make sure to @katesaysstuff) or check out our Facebook page (we like likes!) and post another comment here letting me know you've done so.

Entry closes Sunday May 4th at 7pm and the winner will be drawn randomly. Australian entries only, sorry!

Please be sure to leave me a way to contact you. If I don't hear back from the winner within 48 hours the competition will be redrawn.

Best of luck!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of the DVD courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment via Aussie Mummy Bloggers. No financial payment was offered nor accepted for this post. All opinions expressed are purely my own.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Lucky Ones

Image by mtsofan

This morning I woke up snuggled between my two younger children. They are cuddly little bugs and I adore their sleepy morning faces. I got up and had a coffee from my most excellent coffee machine. All four kids were playing happily (well three were, small girl was just rolling around squealing and babbling and being gorgeous) so I got in the shower. All by myself.

The hubster has the weekend off by sheer luck, so I left three kids with him and went to the supermarket with the baby. I got a park right out the front and nabbed the last baby trolley. Delicious Miss fell asleep in short order and charmed just about everyone we passed with her beautiful sleeping face. I collected everything on my list and was able to pay for it all without a second thought.

Upon my return home I was greeted with much yelling from the back yard. Three kids were playing a very involved game with golf carts and shovels. In their pyjamas. My big girl called out that she thought it must be a pyjama day. Hey why not right?

I spent the day doing a big cook up with fresh ingredients in my excellently appointed kitchen. Meals for the hubster when he goes away, some family sized meals, cinnamon scrolls for the freezer and pizza bases for dinner as well as baby food for my growing-up-quickly babygirl.

My children ambled in and out as I worked, for a chat or a snack or a cuddle. They are such affectionate kids.

We enjoyed a delicious and nourishing dinner after bathing the little ones. The two smallest went to bed with a breastfeed and a cuddle, the rest of us stretched out on the couch to watch a family movie and enjoy the open fire.

I bought a Tatts ticket today. Like everyone we have some excellent plans for when we win... an extension to the house and some renovations, a family holiday, maybe upgrade the cars. You'd have to be so very lucky to win it.

But then look at my day.

We are the lucky ones already.

A (long) weekend rewind

I'm kicking back this Easter long weekend and discovering some old posts on new (to me) blogs via the Weekend Rewind at The Fibro.

The theme this week is 'new' and I'm rewinding back to December 2007 (two whole children ago!) to show off my New Ink.

Funny enough we were just talking tatts the other day, as the hubster and I are both due some new 'new ink' in honour of our younger two children.

Happy Easter everyone, hope you're having a relaxing and happy long weekend.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Things I Know

 Any Mama willing to take on an extra four girls for a slumber party is a brilliant Mama indeed, and I'm sure my own big girl is having the best time ever ;D

My big boy is particularly awesome with babies. And he loves them. I am so lucky to have him <3

It's always hard to say goodbye after a few days with my BFF :(

I've been blogging for a few months now and this is the first time I've embraced the emoticon here :D

Babies are funny little fellows. Mine has embraced the eardrum piercing squeal of late. She's cute enough to get away with it. For now ;)

I'd love it if you 'like' me on Facebook ;p

If you want to win a copy of Pinocchio you have a couple of days left to enter here :)

I know some stuff, and so does Shae over at Yay for Home! What do you know?

Cooking with kids - 5 cup scones

My big 6 year old girl loves to cook, and particularly enjoys baking with me. This is a great recipe because she can do nearly all of it by herself. It's easy and the scones are light and delicious. One of the best things about it is that you can't really overwork the dough either, perfect for enthusiastic stirrers.

What you need:

3 cups self-raising flour
1 cup lemonade 
1 cup thickened cream

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (C).
Pop all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Mix them all together.


Pop the dough on a baking tray (we floured our baking sheet as my dough was a
little too sticky) and form a rough rectangle shape.

Using a spatula or butterknife, cut the dough into even(ish) squares. 

Place in the hot oven for 30 minutes or until golden on top. 
You'll know they're done if you tap the top and they sound hollow. 

While the scones are baking we like to whip some extra cream with icing-sugar.
Daughter loves the old-school whipping style, shake shake shake!

Mmmm. Golden sconey goodness.

Gobble them up with jam and cream. Nom nom nom.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kate sews stuff again (aka what are you good at?)

I'm not going to win any awards for my sewing, especially given I don't use patterns and therefore stuff things up as often as not. But I reckon I do okay, and surely there are points for enthusiasm?

I've been busy sewing the past couple of days and whilst doing so I've been thinking about what I am good at. I'm pretty good at sewing. I'm not at all shabby at keeping a busy household running. I have a definite skill for blatant self promotion. I'm excellent at throwing myself into new things with unbridled enthusiasm.

We spend so much of our time thinking about what we wish we were good at, what we wish we looked like, what we wish we had. How awesome would it be to just appreciate how and who we are all the time?

So anyway here's the current haul hot off the sewing machine...

On the left are three pairs of teddybear pants (made of cuddlefleece) for lounging around as the weather gets colder. The huge pair are for my big bear boy, the middle size for a little bear bogan and the small ones for my nephew bear.

I made another couple of nappy wallets, one for a wildly hopeful Mama and the stripey one is for a PickleMum.

I bought a couple of ubercheap mens jeans from the Salvos store, and upcycled one pair into two little pinnies for two little baby girls (although I will be amazed if they fit truth be told... if not keep your eye out for a giveaway!). The other pair I refashioned into a pair of playpants for a girl who is six.

I love having the time and mojo for getting some sewing done. It's such a random event that I have to run with it while I can!

And really, I am pretty good at it when I decide to be.

What are you good at?

PS Have you entered our Pinocchio Giveaway yet?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pinocchio review and giveaway!

I'm so excited to be doing my very first review and giveaway!

And doubly so to be able to offer a classic Disney movie - Pinocchio.

It's school holidays here, and it has been a pretty chilly rainy old week. I was stoked to be able to offer my big kids something new to watch and a little downtime together.

My 6 and 7 year olds are both familiar with the storyline of Pinocchio but hadn't seen this version of it. I however had seen it many many many times as a child myself, and drove them nuts by singing along with all the songs. Who knew my memory was so good?

They were engrossed from the opening scene. My super active big boy surprised me by sitting through the entire movie and even master 2.5yo watched on and off, dancing around to the musical numbers.

The storyline sparked some intense discussion about the concept of conscience. The next day my son informed me his 'cricket' told him he should be honest about who drew on the bedroom wall. It was the toddler. His writing is impressive for a two year old!

We also had a few laughs about the language changes since this movie was made. In particular big boy was taken with the term jackass. I'm sure I don't need to explain why. It did lead us into a good talk about how language changes though, and we had fun thinking about how these kids will speak when they are adults themselves.

Overall we all really enjoyed watching together, and I was pleasantly surprised that the kids retained interest throughout (which is not often the case with movies).

From 30th June 2011 Pinocchio 70th Anniversary Edition will return to the Disney Vault and may not be re-released for up to seven years, so now is the time to secure your copy! It's a great movie to have on hand as it appeals to such a wide range of ages, and I enjoyed it just as much as my kids.

I have one Pinocchio 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition Blu-ray and DVD pack to give away! 

Entry is easy; simply become a follower of this blog and leave a comment telling me your favourite childhood Disney movie. 

For an extra entry simply tweet a link to this post (via @katesaysstuff) and add another comment letting me know that you've done so.

Please ensure you leave a way for me to contact you when you win. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours of notification I will redraw. 

Australian entries only, sorry!

Entry closes 7pm Sunday April 24th, and the winner will be drawn using

Hop to it!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of the DVD courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment via Aussie Mummy Bloggers. No financial payment was offered nor accepted for this post. All opinions expressed are purely my own.

I'm flogging my blog with Glowless over at Where's My Glow? Come flog with me!

A girl is six!

We love you so much beautiful girl.

Happy 6th Birthday.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Things I Know

- Some weeks just do not pan out like you think they will.

- Having the supertrucker home after the (unintentionally) longest shift ever is such a relief!

- It's well and truly birthday season with our friends and family.

- School holidays rock my socks.

- Two parties in one day may be madness, but I'm looking forward to my big girl being celebrated.

I know stuff with Yay for Home, what do you know?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Power of Ohai (Kthxbai)

No-one really knows how or why the Ohai (Kthxbai) came to power, but powerful it is indeed.*
For those inclined to embrace the power of the law of attraction, the Ohai (Kthxbai) is simply an extension most often used via the network of social media to further empower one's intentions.

Like a random sighting of the Lucky Bus, the Ohai (Kthxbai) has proven time and time again that all you have to do is ask. I've seen it at work many times on Twitter from aiding the manifestation of the perfect rental to something else I can't think of right now.

The picture above is of a sheet that was painted by my beautiful circle of women at my Blessingway. Yes, I think it is hilarious that it features a Twitter bird, Ohai and Kthxbai. But that's how we roll. Well, that's how I roll and possibly some attendees were taking the piss. Or not. Either way.

Now here's the thing about that particular Ohai (Kthxbai). Due to the fact that pregnancy renders me incapable of function, the sheet remained at my friend's house until after our baby was born. We had a beautiful (excruciating) homebirth, but I'm sure had the Ohai (Kthxbai) been present it would have been painless. I'll keep telling myself that.

Yesterday I tweeted:

Ohai universe. Here's what's gonna happen. Hub will be back on road soon. I will take 4 kids to the supermarket and it will be fine. Much baking and party prep will get done. I will remember to wrap presents. Kthxbai.

And what do you think happened?
After a series of misadventures (none of which were caused by anyone in particular) the supertrucker hubster finally hit the road for home.

I took 4 kids to the supermarket and they were great, AND I didn't end up buying extra stuff to bribe them with. They were lovely.

I made and froze 6 pizza bases. I caramelised a leek to make put on posh pizzas for my big girl's birthday celebration on Friday. I made a batch of too many biscuits for the freezer and we ate some too. I wrapped birthday presents.

My kids played beautifully together (mostly) and by the time I went to bed my floors were clean.

What more could a 1950's housewife (minus the nylons, housedress, heels and sexist husband) ask for?

Try it. You'll be amazed! Or not. Up to you.


* Actually quite possibly someone remembers what inspired the Ohai (Kthxbai). I don't, but I think it's ace. And funny.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Hanging out with the Bogues.

 Two April babies, born two years apart. Both no longer babies. Both beautiful.

 Two little two-year-old mates; hilariously funny little chaps they are.

It's all too tiring for a dribbly little bogan baby.

I'm having an almost Wordless Wednesday. Come play along with My Little Drummer Boys!