Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Little Vegemite

A babygirl tries a vegemite sandwich for the first time, and finds it appealing.

A babygirl is not getting the cup holding trick.

A babygirl thinks it is hilarious to throw the cup on the floor and call out
for a Mummy to pick it up. Over and over again.

A babygirl is learning the value of a clean face early in life. Well, sort of.
I'm playing Wordless Wednesday with My Little Drummer Boys. Come play along!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dear August

I had high hopes for August this year.

August has been a challenging month for many years for us.

I suffer from seasonal affective disorder and by the last stages of Winter my resources are at their lowest ebb.

Throw in the emotion of an autism diagnosis for the small boy, a week of vomit for the whole family and other miscellaneous challenges (including but not limited to an injury for the Supertrucker, shedloads of paperwork and appointments for our boy and an 8yo emo kid) and it has not been the funnest month of my life.

But you know what? Spring is just around the corner. We've had some glorious sunny days lately and I am just soaking in the sunshine and waiting for the universe to catch up with me.

On Spring Day, my favourite day of the year, I am launching my new business. The diagnosis has changed a lot of our plans for the next few years, so I'm embracing the chance to return to WAHMing and it is going to be fabulous.

Dear August,

This man just heard that it's August.
Take your angry cranky cold hearted wily ways and go home. We don't want you here no more. And don't let the door hit you on the bum on the way out.

Dude!! September!! IKR?!
Ohai September. YES!!!!! I feel you. You make me as happy as super happy beardy man.


Spring, I love you. Say you'll stay <3

Monday, August 29, 2011


It's week two in Seven Cherubs Cherish your Cherubs project. This week the task is to remember.

I'm going to share a moment in time from December 2006.

I had two children. A small boy and a small girl. At the time we felt our family was complete, amazing to me now as I couldn't imagine life without our new small boy and small girl.

This photo was taken on our traditional Christmas Train Day. Since the big boy was a very small boy we have jumped on a train to the city to check out the light show at Crown Casino, the Myer Christmas windows and various other Christmassy super happy fun things at the end of the year.

It is a day we spend with one or more of my sisters. On this particular day we were with two of them I'm pretty sure. My nephew wasn't in existence yet and neither my sisters were married. We took this photo on the train heading home and I love it not only because it captures a moment on a fun family day, but because my big kids here are so like my little kids now. Truly we breed them same same (same same).

It reminds me of what life with two kids was like. It makes me smile to see my big girl so tiny (and hairless, she was was a baldy bub for the longest time!). My big boy's blue eyes still sparkle in exactly the same way.

Life has changed a lot since then, not least because our family has grown. In the busy-ness of everyday I love taking a moment to reflect on how our family has changed. And I just want to jump into this photo and squeeze those gorgeous little ones... they don't let me do that so much these days.

What do you remember this week?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Things I Know: A Day at the Zoo

It's Things I Know Friday again! And this edition is going to be photo heavy, be warned!!

We gave the big kids the day off school yesterday and had a family day at the Zoo.

I know four kids (well three at least) have been so excited about a family day out.
We've not had one in a very long time. The Supertrucker works weekends and it can
be hard to find time together. I'm glad we MADE time.

I know my whole family is in this photo <3

I know the stingrays give me the heebie jeebies, especially when they poke their
noses out the top of the tank! I also know that my big boy loves them!

I know that this is the best catch I'll ever make ;)

I know that a picnic on a sunny day is so good for the soul.

I know these big kids are so amazing. I can't believe how fast they are growing
up. They are such lovely, caring individuals and they have coped so well with
the stresses we've had of late. Love them so much.

I know I'm a bit camera shy these days, and as a result I have hardly any photos
of me with the kids. I'm happy I got the Supertrucker to take one for me :)

I know I love my pram so. very. much. It is a total packhorse, held the rug, our picnic,
my Vanchi nappy bag and everything we needed for the day. Oh, and the baby too.

I know that any Supertrucker who is man enough to not only push a purple
pram, but wears a coordinating shirt (unintentionally) is an awesome man indeed.

I know the butterfly house is my big girl's favourite place at the zoo.

I know that holding hands with my little man fills my heart with joy.

I know that my children are my world. I also know that in no time at all
my babygirl will be walking along with them!
I know that most people probably go to the zoo and take photos of the animals. But the last time we went to the zoo as a family I was pregnant with the big girl! We had such a beautiful day together. My family is beautiful and time with all of us together is as precious as gold.

I'm sharing Things I Know with Yay for Home!
What do you know this week?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Guest Post for ActionAid


It's Thankful Thursday, and today I'm hosting a guest post on behalf of ActionAid. Read on, be grateful for the many blessings in your life and think about how you can help :)

Being grateful comes from overcoming hardships.

There are many things to be grateful for. I’m grateful that my children can get an education, I’m grateful that they will always have something to eat, and I’m grateful that they will grow up in a loving family in a country where they are safe.

In life, we all go through our own personal hardships and overcome the challenges that face us. And being grateful is the result of coming through those hardships and being thankful for the positive and enriching things and people in our lives. 

But imagine if you lived in poverty and didn’t have access to basic rights such as food, water or an education. And, you couldn’t provide these rights for your children.

A mother’s love is universal, and there’s no denying the heartache and desperation these mothers feel when their children go hungry, fall ill or are denied an education, opportunities and a future simply because of the country and circumstances they were born into.

Did you know? 
* Almost 16,000 children die per day due to hunger related illness
* 69 million children are denied an access to education

These are startling figures. How can we possibly make a difference or help reverse these numbers? There’s no denying it’s a massive job, but every journey starts with a single footstep, and there are small things we could do to help.

Not everyone can drop their jobs or leave their families and friends to go abroad and help fight poverty and injustice– it’s just not possible. But ActionAid Australia’s latest campaign – ‘The Other You’ – takes that into consideration. Instead of just asking for a donation or imploring you to do more, The Other You makes it possible for you to directly support the work that someone else (an ActionAid activist) is doing on the ground.  So if you dream of helping others, this is a way for you to offer support and be involved with the work that “another you” might have wanted to do. For more information on where the activists are working and how to get involved, check out their website and cool video on The Other You website.

We all have our own families to think about, but supporting such campaigns is a way parents who are thankful for the luxuries and comfort that they have to give back. Activists working in the field can help mothers and parents give their children the nutrition, safety and opportunities that they themselves are not able to provide.

It’s hard to say that the hardships of one exceed the hardships of another. But we’re lucky in Australia to have a lot to be grateful for.

So let’s help others be grateful too!

Guest post by Samantha Deavin who writes for ActionAid

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

A small girl can haz piggytails <3
I'm playing Wordless Wednesday with My Little Drummer Boys. Come play along!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ten Things Tuesday: Emo Mum is Emo


I'm joining in with Sif from The Bottom of the Garden today to share ten things.

I thought I'd share ten emotions I've experienced in the past 24 hours.

1. Joy - at the glorious weather Melbourne has turned on lately. Spring is truly just around the corner and I couldn't be happier!

2. Relief - that an emergency trip to Bunnings with the small two was quick and easy.

3. Frustration - when hanging the new curtains snapped the existing plastic rod holders, necessitating aforementioned trip to Bunnings.

4. Pride - at my cleverness in acquiring new curtains cheaply.

5. Shock - when I made myself a latte with my whizz bang coffee machine and the cup leapt out of the machine and onto the tiled floor. Full.

6. Denial - leading up to the reporting meeting with my little man's psychologist... I keep waiting for someone to tell me they've got it all wrong...

6. Acceptance - at seeing in writing the full report on my small boy's diagnosis.

7. Sadness - at finally understanding the full implications. And over little things like the fact that where we had anticipated having three of our four at the same primary school for a few years this may not in fact happen now.

8. Grief - releasing some of the visions I had for the next few years, and the idea that my boy will just 'get better'. He won't.

9. Gratitude - for the enormous amount of love and support my family has right now both in our everyday lives and here. Thankyou!

10. Love - because my boy is a delight and no label changes who he is to me.

Tell me some of your things?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Menu Monday Linkup: Apple-Berry Cream Cheese Scrolls

I had the great fortune to attend a tweetup at The Dairy Kitchen on Friday just gone. Along with Marita (Stuff with Thing), Toushka (ToushkaLee) and Amanda (Diary of a Mad Cow) I learned about the role of dairy foods in the modern diet as well as sampling some delicious recipes.

If you are on Twitter and want to see some of the conversations that took place search for the hashtag #thedairykitchen or for lots of info on dairy and great ways to incorporate it into your diet check out the Dairy Australia website.

Anyway it's Menu Monday once again and I thought I'd share one of the recipes we tried there... it is extremely yummy and easy too!

Apple-Berry Cream Cheese Scrolls

You need:

30g cold butter, coarsely grated*
2 cups SR flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup reduced fat spreadable cream cheese
1 tsp cinnamon
1 apple, finely chopped
1 cup frozen raspberries or blueberries
2 tablespoons caster sugar

* Meanwhile, grating the butter! How clever is that?! Makes rubbing it in so much easier!

Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre, add all the milk and mix to a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently.

Roll out the dough to a 1cm thick rectangle then spread with cream cheese, sprinkle with cinnamon and then top with the fruit and sugar.
Images thanks to Stuff with Thing
because my photos were dodgerama!
Roll up as for a Swiss roll and cut into 12 slices with a sharp serrated knife, wiping the knife between each cut.

Snuggly fit the scrolls into a 20x30 baking paper lined deep baking tray or slice tin and bake at 220 C for 15-20 minutes or until golden and cooked. Serve warm or cold with a glass of milk :)

I know right? Delicious!!
You can find more delicious recipes from the Dairy Kitchen here, and while you are there check out the cooking class videos. Amanda and Glenys are just the loveliest people and the videos are great for visual learners.

So that's my sweet craving satisfied!! As for savoury, I was asked if I'd like to taste test Smith's poatato chips which are now being cooked in sunflower oil, making them 75% lower in saturated fat. I'm a chippie fan (actually I'm a potato fan full stop) and even though I only got to eat about two chips and clearly should have hidden them better from my seagulls family they were extremely yummo indeed.

Why am I telling you this? Because I'm going to randomly choose one of our linkers this Menu Monday and send you some yummy Smith's chippies to taste test too!

Yay for sharing the linky love!

Disclosure: I received some Smith's chips to taste test and my kids will tell you they were good because THEY ATE THEM ALL. No payment was offered or accepted.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

And the sun broke through...

It has been a trying couple of weeks, and whilst by nature I am an optimist there have been times that sleep deprivation and stress have really taken their toll.

By last night everyone in the family had survived their bouts of gastro and were well on the way to recovery. I was ready to farewell the fortnight past and embrace the weekend.

Then the Supertrucker lost his wallet.

Which sounds not a big deal perhaps but when that wallet contains the license you need to drive a road train as well as your dangerous goods license and you are due to hit the road at midday the next day it is very stressful indeed.

On top of that the whole issue of bank and credit cards needing to be cancelled was freaking me out. We would have had NO access to any of our funds and with expensive specialist appointments for the small boy on Monday and Tuesday I had a very restless night indeed.

This morning saw no improvement in our moods and no sign of the wallet, so I headed out to withdraw as much as I could to get the hubster through the next few days on the road before we cancelled all our cards (he has access to both of my daily accounts too). I was driving back and sending a little prayer to the universe that maybe I'd spot it on the side of a road somewhere... that it would turn up in a totally random place and thinking about tweeting about my distinct lack of rainbows and lollipops when my phone rang.

The wallet had been found. In a spot we had searched numerous times last night and this morning. And not at all far from where it should have been. The trucker was standing with our big boy and said aloud "I just wish it would be right here", looked down and there it was.

I'm not suggesting for a moment that it magically put itself there, but I do think it's a bit excellent of the universe to reveal it to him at the moment when we were both asking that it be randomly found.

Crisis averted!

Then the fog lifted and the sun broke through, and the day turned gloriously warm and shiny.

And it feels like an omen to me. I am truly saying farewell to the past weeks of upset and illness and am ready to move forward with joy and acceptance. Our small boy begins the next part of his journey this week and while I am challenged daily by what it all means, I'm embracing the chance to help him in the ways he needs.

And I am so very grateful that the awful spew bug has left the premises and my laundry can return to its normal level of activity.

But mostly I'm grateful for the care and support we have received from our family and friends. We are so blessed.

I'm feeling grateful with Maxabella Loves.
What are you feeling grateful for today?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Things I Know: The Pyjama Week Edition

It's Friday, and I don't think I've ever been as happy to see the back end of a week as I am of this one! Yep, it even beat last week hands down!

So what do I know this week?

I know I am so grateful to have a working laundry that has coped with being in action 24/7 as gastro swept through our family.

I know I am grateful that all the kids are well again, and that I am too.

I know that sleeping on the couch for four nights makes you even more thankful for your own bed than usual!

I know that babies, big kids and supertruckers are a walk in the park to deal with when sick compared to two year olds.

That said, I also know that there is an official man version of gastro too ;p

And lastly I know that unexpected niceness from beautiful friends can brighten even the bleakest week. Especially when the niceness is this delicious:

What do you know this week?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Record

The beautiful Naomi from Seven Cherubs has a project underway called Cherish Your Cherubs. This Thankful Thursday I am excited to be joining in on the first week of the project: Record.

I have an 8 year old boy. The day he was born is forever etched in my memory for reasons unexpected. He has three motorbikes and he LOVES them. He is a very proficient rider and spends lots of time with the Supertrucker doing bikey type things.

My big boy has a quick temper but is also very quick to laugh. He is incredibly loving and an amazing big brother to his siblings even when he finds being the eldest hard.

My boy has just joined a choir and has his first performance this weekend. I so wish I could be there to see it, but my parents are attending and we will be buying the DVD. He has a lovely singing voice and I love that he is making new friends and trying something new.

I love my big boy with all my heart.

I have a 6 year old daughter. She is the only one of our children to catch the Supertrucker's green eyes. She has a scar on her forehead from the time a big boy ran into a partially open door knocking it into her head, the steel catch got her square in the face. She was so very brave that night. And luckily scars are cool these days.

My big girl is determined. She is strong in a way I never have been and I love that. She is lean and wiry, thoughtful and sweet. She loves going to school, truly she was made for the routines and systems involved in the school day. Her teacher thinks she is amazing, because she is.

My big girl loves craft activities and has strong artistic skills. She loves creating and painting and making things for other people.

I love my big girl with all my heart.

I have a 2 year old boy, very nearly 3. He doesn't sleep at all well, so it is worth capturing when he does. My small boy is a delight. He is a gentle giant, the most loving and affectionate toddler you could imagine.

My small boy has systems. He finds lots of things difficult but he keeps trying. He loves watching his Dad and brother on the motorbikes but doesn't love the noise they make. My small boy is a sensitive little soul.

I love my small boy with all my heart.

I have a nine month old babygirl. She very rarely cries, but sometimes she does and I wanted to capture another part of her.

When I was pregnant the psychic sonographer told me she would be an easy going but much doted upon baby. She was right.

My babygirl astonished me with her beauty. She is calm and happy nearly all the time. She sleeps well and loves her food. A lot. She is the last baby for us and I'm so grateful for her every day. She completes us and we all adore her.

I love my babygirl with all my heart.

I am so thankful for all my children. I can not imagine the world without them and I count my blessings every day that I am their mother.

What are you feeling thankful for this Thursday?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Adventures of gAstro Boy

I had a very different post planned for today. A lighthearted one. Then gastro struck our house.

But instead of sulking about the enormous piles of washing I'm staring down, or the revolting smell in my house, or the hour or so of sleep I got last night I will tell you why I'm grateful for gastro.

Firstly, it is just gastro. Right now there are so many kids suffering from far worse. Kids who know the inside of a hospital as well as their own homes. This will pass, but my thoughts are with the families who deal with serious illness on a daily basis.

I'm grateful that only my little two have been affected. And that the small girl seems to be fine now after a series of powerchucks last night. My small boy is not at all well, he's curled up next to me on the couch as I type. But thank goodness he's now past the 'freak out' stage. The repeated bed/clothing stripping last night really upset his applecart, he is a boy who has systems. But he seems to be coping with it much better this morning even though he is still vomiting often.

I am SO grateful for my parents. At nine last night my Dad turned up with a huge bag of sheets, towels and blankets (after we had literally gone through all of ours) and took my big kids for the night. This morning he has taken them to school and he will pick them up again this afternoon. I can't even tell you how much of a difference this has made and will make to the shape of my day. Thanks Mum and Dad!

I'm grateful also that I am a systems junkie and I'm already getting on top of the laundry (7 loads washed so far, 4 big clothes horses full and the dryer running). I've got groceries organised for delivery today and bread in the oven so we don't need to go anywhere but the couch today.

How do you deal with the onset of illness in your house? And what are your best tips to help little people stay comfortable?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Things I Know: A week less ordinary

Some weeks everything just seems to happen at once. This has been one of them and I know an awful lot more than I did a week ago.

I know my little boy is autistic. And I know I am so grateful for the support I have received this week.

The thing is for the past few days I've been thinking maybe she got it wrong. He's totally 'normal' and so many things could be written off as age appropriate if I try hard enough (I'm sure denial is part of the process right?).

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend an event with Kellogg's. And I know now that there is no question that the diagnosis is right. My boyo does not behave like other kids his age, and it was a difficult situation for him.

I also know that I am grateful to have been with a group of beautiful Mummy bloggers who did not pass judgement, who did not even pass comment. Many of them were aware of our situation, and I felt comfortable even while I felt challenged by what was happening.

I know that my boy will continue to be taken out of his comfort zone, that it is necessary and healthy for both of us. And I know that the blogosphere has embraced us as we are and I love that.

I know that the Kellogg's people were lovely and didn't bat an eyelid even though I'm sure they weren't necessarily expecting the noise and distraction of my boy closely matched by my babygirl, neither of whom wanted anything to do with the great kids room and activities provided. I felt welcomed and it makes me want to buy Kellogg's cereals for the rest of my life. I probably even will!

I know a lot more about how some cereals are made, and I enjoyed the conversations around health, family and diet. I loved that the company took everything we discussed on board, and wanted to really know how we were feeling about their products.

I know that the goodie bags were lovely and that this seriously made my day:

My big kids are arguing over who gets to take it to school for show and tell first!!

The less fun things I know about yesterday include a phone call from school after my big boy got punched, coming home to a flooded laundry because I forgot to pull the plug out of the laundry trough after bathing the baby and the Supertrucker being called into work yet again, which will basically mean we don't see him until next Tuesday aside from a sleep break.

I know that we are due some happy news and less stress after the week we've had. I'm even gonna throw out an Ohai (Kthxbai) to that effect and look forward to moving on.

I know that some weeks break the mold, but that without them I'd never appreciate all the awesome things I have going on in my life.

What do you know this week?

I'm playing Things I Know with Yay for Home!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thankful Thursday: the one where the blogosphere blew my mind.

Short and sweet this week.

On Monday I published this post.

This is what happened:

I have no words. Utterly stunned at the outpouring of support and love I have received over the past few days.

Dear blogosphere, thank you. From the very bottom of my heart. Your caring held me together when I felt like I might fall apart, and your generous sharing of your own stories confirms for me that we are in good company and we will get through all of this.

I'm also thankful that my genius friend KatePickle made me a button!
I'll have some code to go with it next week :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

(Not even close to) Wordless Wednesday


(Please excuse the motion-sickness inducing camera work, she's a wriggly one!)

I'm playing Wordless Wednesday with My Little Drummer Boys, come and play with us!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The small boy and the diagnosis

Today my small boy had his assessment. I expected to be told he is maybe borderline autistic, or even that he's fine and time will see him right.

What I learned today is that my boy has autism with no borderline about it, and that he also has a moderate intellectual disability.

I think just hearing the words, having that instinctive knowledge that something isn't right validated, is both shocking and a relief. Shocking because knowing in your heart and knowing because a professional has assessed him are two different things. A relief because he is not quite three, it is early and we can get him all the help he needs and support him as he moves into schooling in a couple of years.

I have cried. Wept buckets. Because he is my fabulous little man and I want him to have an easy life. Because this is a brave new world for all of us and I wasn't really prepared. Because I remember the moment he was born. Because I've known in my heart for so long.

So the next few months are going to be interesting. New adventures, new possibilities.
But one thing does not change, and that is the fact that my son is the same peaceful, open, beautiful soul he was this morning. Along with the fact that I love him so much my heart could burst, and I will do anything in my power to help him in his journey.

I'm linking up with At Home Mum along with other parents of children on the spectrum. Come and have a read around.

Faking It.

Some days it's really hard to find the energy to give it your all. Some days you just want to get it over with and go to sleep. Some days things pop up unexpectedly and leave you just needing to get it done quickly.

Those are the days that I fake it.

I'm talking about housework, of course. Because despite being a systems junkie there are times that a quick splash and dash is all I am able for. So I thought I'd share some of my top tips for faking a clean house (great for when you get visitors on very short notice!).

* Clear your benchspaces

Completely clear the dining table, kitchen bench, and any other table tops that will be on view. If you have time put stuff away where it goes, if not pop it in a laundry basket and put that out of sight. It's easy to carry a basket around and put things away properly later on. Clear open surfaces give the impression of tidiness (even if you know that things have just been relocated).

* Tidy your entryway

This is the first thing anyone entering your home sees, so give them the impression of order and they will take it with them. I don't think anyone ever expects a family home to be immaculate (mine certainly isn't) but walking into clutter or walking into a tidy, light space can really set the atmosphere regardless of the toys that may be around.

* Clean your sink

I've heard that the FlyLady is big on this one too. Make sure your dishes are out of sight and give your sink a quick once over. The kitchen is the heart of many homes and a shiny sink can change the feel of your space very easily.

If I'm caught out I'll make sure I've done these three things and usually do a quick run around with the vacuum (four kids = endless vacuuming at my house) then a quick once over in the guest (ie kids) bathroom, if I'm in a huge hurry I grab a facewasher and use that to wipe surfaces down. If all else fails I've always got too many biscuits in the freezer... popping some in the oven and starting up the coffee machine will win over pretty much anyMum anyway.

Do you fake it? What are your top speed cleaning tips?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Things I Know: I am not Miranda Kerr


This will come as a huge shock to some. Probably not many. But I am not Miranda Kerr.

Mrs Woog wrote this post a while back and it gave me quite a chuckle. Then yesterday I read this over at BabyMac and it made me a little cranky and a little sad.

So today I know that I am not Miranda Kerr. And as a matter of fact I know I am very happy not to be Miranda Kerr. Here's why:

* My husband is not Orlando Bloom. Now Orlando is alright. Okay he's a few steps beyond alright. Actually he's verging on ridiculously good looking. But he ain't no Supertrucker!

* I have a nearly nine month old baby. Hers is around seven months old. But I also have three older children... how jealous are you now Miranda? 

* I breastfeed my baby (as does she) but I don't do it in satin robes or stilettos. I'm likely to be wearing my flannel PJ's or trackies. I figure breastfeeding can be challenging enough without throwing heels into the mix.

* I am under no obligation to look a certain way within 35 seconds of giving birth. After each of my children it has taken 6 months to a year to get back to the weight I was pre-pregnancy. I put on a LOT of weight with each baby... all up my body has gained and shed 120+ kgs over the past 7 years. That's a whole person or two! And chances are when I finally wean my last babe I'll creep up to a comfortable cuddly weight and no-one will particularly care. How brilliant is that?

* No one is tearing me to shreds or holding me up as some kind of role model for new mothers. I am what I am and so long as I am being the best Mum I can be that is all that matters. And for that I am enormously grateful.

This week I know I am not Miranda Kerr. And whilst there are aspects of her life that must be incredibly nice, I'm extremely happy to just be me.

I'm playing Things I Know with Yay for Home! Come play along.
I'm also flogging my blog with Glowless for Jeans for Genes day, get your denim on and show some support.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thankful Thursday: The Bloggers Brunch Edition

It's Thursday, and today I'm feeling thankful that I was invited to attend the Bloggers Brunch hosted by Kids Business last week. I'd heard so much about the previous one and was beside myself excited all week leading up to it.

The absolute highlight of the day for me was spending time with some amazing bloggers who I've long admired. I had the babygirl with me which made some aspects a little tricky, but there were plenty of friendly faces willing to help a mother out.

The morning began with a series of speakers. I'd love to tell you all about them but the babygirl was not happy on my lap for very long and unfortunately the space didn't allow for her pram to fit with me, so I hung out down the back with some other baby-Mamas and tried desperately to hear. I will say I was impressed with Melinda Gainsford-Taylor's presence, she is a beautiful speaker. And Nicole Avery from Planning with Kids is always impressive in both her content and her presentation.

After the speakers were finished we were invited to engage with the six brands represented on the day. I had elected to take part in the filming of this stage with the crew from Room to Grow (along with Danielle from Hello Owl, Maria of Mum's Word, the Becky part of Becky & James, DanniiBeauty and Jolie of Hey Bambini) which proved to be both a blessing and a curse.

A blessing because I did actually get to check out all six brands and find out a bit more about them. A curse because I missed out on the actual food part of the brunch and having bolted out the door very early to pick up some bloggers I'd missed brekkie too. I was fall down starving by the time I got home that afternoon! I also found the area that the brands were set up in extremely crowded at times, and given I had a quite cranky then sleeping baby on my shoulder it wasn't the most comfortable of situations for me. Lucky my babygirl is such an easygoing little sausage, and I'm so grateful that my sister took my small boy for the day as I don't think we'd have lasted long with him there too.

I was impressed with the idea behind Million Dollar Woman. Having been an at home Mum for a very long time now I do wonder how we would cope if I fell ill or was injured, and this seems like a pretty awesome solution.

I'd not heard of Protectabed before, they seem to have an excellent range of products available to cover a wide range of needs. 

Aunty Rozzy is a new one to me as well (warning, site opens with music). Their focus is on healthy eating and sharing knowledge through music and books. And I have to say the rep who was there was SO enthusiastic and lovely that even though the products aren't really up my alley I was inspired to go and spend some time on their website. He wins rep of the day for me.

Garnier were also represented and were incredibly generous with their goodie bags. I'm loving the beautiful body lotion, and including the caffeine eye roll-on  was pure genius on their part. How many Mums do you know that have had enough sleep lately?

Blackmores were also very generous with their stock, including full sized products for us to try at home. I'm a big fan of Blackmores already (and if you are too don't forget you can win a Blackmores Night Owl Kit right here!).

Homedics kindly provided us with a neck and shoulder massager with heat which in truth the kids have used more than I've had a chance to as yet, but given I've had a back problem for many years I will definitely be keeping in touch with them, I was very impressed with their generosity.

It was a huge and busy morning. I'm very thankful to have been invited, and it was just brilliant beyond words to see so many people I love online all in one room. I may have launched myself at some, and been too nervous to even approach others. Just awesome.

Are you feeling thankful? I'm going to share some of the Bloggers Brunch love!

I'm going to randomly select one of our Thankful link ups this week and send you a little package of goodies from the Bloggers Brunch as a way to say thank YOU for feeling thankful with me :) Just link up your Thankful Thursday post below and I'll draw it over the weekend.

Disclosure: I received goods as mentioned from the Bloggers Brunch event. No payment was offered or accepted for my comments. Kids Business has offered the first 20 bloggers to write about the brunch a prize which is a nice bonus for something I was going to do anyway, assuming I scrape it it! ;)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: A boy is 8

And I am so very proud to be his Mum.

I'm playing Wordless Wednesday with My Little Drummer Boys, come play along!