Parenting – Viking Vs 2016

I’ve just finished watching the four seasons of Vikings. I honestly never thought I’d like this series (it’s to bloody for me I’m afraid) but my mum and a friend from work both said watch it you’ll get hooked……. Well I did – love it to bits.

But it’s got me thinking; thinking about the way parenting has changed since the Viking days. The Vikings for all their brutality couldn’t have gotten it all wrong, were still here after all! Now, life was tough back then most children didn’t survive past the age of five and if they got to five they were lucky to see 20. If I was a Viking mother I’d be considered a fossil ready for replacement with a newer and sexier Viking version (Look, if it’s going to happen at least replace me with the hot and sexy Lagertha, now she’s a fine specimen of a Viking mother!)

If we compared children being brought up back then to how they are now, the Viking race would have social services called on them. Certainly no one would read their blogs if they had one – after all no one wants to read a blog from a Viking who shags in front of the children, leaves the kids with anyone who will take them and feeds them the same thing day in and day out. There’s just no good parenting advise there. Come on though surely they got a few things right that we could learn from?

Back in the day, Vikings were either at home or sailing the oceans to find new lands to plunder and pillage; so families were either in a boat together, living in a makeshift tent or in the cramped family home. Now to have sex there was no choice; they just got on with it… Wamb bamb thank you Viking man! Today if your really lucky one of the kiddies will have snapped a real nasty shoot of dad’s butt in the air with his hands over mum’s boobies for modesty posted onto Snap Chat or Instagram, it would wind up on facebook and the next thing you know Child Protection would be on your doorstep and everyone on social media would have a comment to make. Parents today are always talking about there not being enough sex in the relationship or that there’s not enough time or the old “I haven’t had time for a wax scenario” – Let’s face it though men don’t really care so I think it’s safe to say today’s man still has a little “Viking” left in him. Perhaps we should just be grabbing the Viking by the beard so to speak and go for it, even if the kids are in the other room watching sponge bob square pants and you haven’t put it into your calendar.

Right back to the Viking children who as it happens were left with aunt’s, uncle’s, neighbour’s for months or even years. Parents did what they had to do to get on. Yet children lived and grow into self-sufficient adults knowing where they belonged and they had a wider, larger family network: In 2016 mum’s feel guilty leaving their child at daycare to go to work, or at a family member’s house to go have their hair done or just to have me time. In Viking times it was called survival and it wasn’t uncommon practice to look after other’s children. Today however you’re neglecting your child if you’re not thinking about them or with them 24/7.

Viking children learnt to fight from a young age, or they were helping mum in the home or dad on the farm; they did because they had to there was no choice or negotiating… Children in 2016 are allergic to house work and want compensation in the form of luxury goods or money for performing tasks that they should be doing any way. Quick call a social worker I’m using my child for slave labour…. I got LMM to put her apple core in the bin (insert shock horror here.)

Back in the day of the Viking you had a diet of fish, any meat that could be killed and the crudest of vegetables – there was no choice, no alternative and no media portraying to mum’s that they’re not doing the best by their children if their meals aren’t gluten free, dairy free, preservative free, organic and free range.’ Viking children were lucky to have enough to eat, unlike our fussier, more spoilt 2016 counterparts that think it’s ok to let mum and dad do some negotiating here as well…..’Ok mum I’ll see your pot roast and I’ll raise you a nut fudge sunday,’ – Viking child ‘I don’t want to eat this,’ Viking parent – whack over the head of said child and a nice short ‘eat now.’ – Yes Sir!

Look don’t get me wrong I certainly wouldn’t want to live back in the Viking days… Although the men seem a lot taller and manly than some of today’s men who just love their skinny jeans and moisturiser (Only joking honest, nothing wrong with a bit of moisturiser.) I think the reality is we should all give ourselves and others a break. Let people parent and get on with their jobs of raising amazing little humans. We should all stop being so critical and judgemental of ourselves and others and lets face it we can be. We could just try and leave the kids with the in-laws once in a while, have more sex, give our kids some chores and food, well let’s stop stressing about what they are not eating and just be thankful they are eating. Maybe we should all try and find our “Inner Viking.”

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KidloLand App for children aged 0-5

Anyone that knows me knows that I love to shop. I can shop for anything, anywhere, anytime and never get tired of the thrill. The one thing however I’ve never been big on is buying apps and if I download an app it’s very rare I’ll buy the extra bits and pieces within that app.

I was however thrilled when asked to write a review for KidloLand as my daughter and I have this app on my iPhone and iPad and while we both enjoy it I’ve always been apprehensive about purchasing the subscription, (although there’s always been that little voice in my head saying buy it, buy it!) Especially since you need to re-buy the subscription each month/year. Now however after playing with the full app I honestly think that for the entertainment that it gives my daughter and the educational experience she is getting, I would definitely not hesitate, it’s also given me a bit of confidence to try other apps – KidloLand has taught me not all apps are a waste of money and some things are worth investing in.

The most immediate thing I love about KidloLand is how colourful it is. The screen is alive with bright and vibrant colour which just totally engages LMM. It doesn’t matter what group you go into be it the alphabet songs, or the nursery rhymes or the activities there is a hive of bold colours and amazing animation to keep a young mind occupied.​

My daughter can go from being a whingeing, crying mess to a singing and dancing princess bopping along to all the songs. The other thing LMM loves about KidloLand is that within each song there are things for her to tap and press. Be it apples falling off a tree or a kitty cat jumping up and meowing, or lights going on and off in a house when it’s touched she can tap away to her heart’s content and gets surprised every time something moves or makes a noise.

Old MacDonald Had a farm!
Old MacDonald Had a farm!

While LMM isn’t quite able to do all the activities on her own (activities are probably geared more for 2+) it’s a great opportunity for her and I to have some one on one time together; I help her move objects into the matching puzzle pieces, while I’m talking to her about what were doing and why. This time where I help LMM, be it activities from the farm group or the space group (there are ten categories in the activity section, and over 100 activities altogether) has become very important to me as its real mummy and daughter time. I love it when we’ve finished an activity and she looks at me and smiles when we get a “fantastic”, “amazing” or “marvellous” flash out at us.

Mummy and LMM doing activities together xx
Mummy and LMM doing activities together xx

Not all children’s apps are created equal and there is definitely a reason why this app won the “Spring 2016 Academics’ Choice Smart Media Award.” Not only does it entertain children but it helps with their development, reading and language skills as well (while the song is playing, the words are running across the bottom of the screen). My daughter is trying her hardest to sing along to the songs and trying to do the actions, be it from Twinkle Twinkle or Row Row Row your boat or Itsy Bitsy Spider. It is a special treat to see the enthusiasm from my daughter as she participates never knowing that as she goes along she is learning.

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LMM’s grandma and uncle also both love the app – we’ve been in Melbourne this week and the app which is easy enough even for the most challenged iPad user to use has come in handy when my mum and brother have been babysitting LMM (I think my mum called it a godsend!) My mum said ‘the colours are so bright it made looking at the animation fun and eye catching’ and she also said it was easy for her to navigate (something to remember for all grandparents I think.) Another thing my mum loved is that she knew so many of the songs and it brought back great memories for her of singing them with my brother’s and !.

Babysitting made easy for the relatives xx
Babysitting made easy for the relatives xx

The people at kidloland have been very kind and given me five, three month subscriptions to give away to some lucky mums or dads (or grandparents). This really is a great opportunity to see what your paying for and why it really is worth the money. With over 300 songs and over 100 activites your child will get so much learning and fun out of this app. Also on a security note to get into the settings side of the app you need to compelte a simple manths eqaution, which gives me piece of mind LMM won’t be buying things she shouldn’t or touching playlists we’ve created together.

To be one of the five lucky people to get this subsciption offer please leave a comment on my Facebook page. The first five in are the lucky owners of the three month subscription.

If you would like to try this app out please follow the links below:

Google Play Store

IOS

This is a sponsored post. I was given access to an educational app to help write my review. All opinions are mine. Thanks to the creators of KidloLand for allowing me to review this product!

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Hello, how are you today?

Hello, how are you today?
Hello, how is your day going?
Hello, are you having a good day today?

Three variations of a phrase that we all probably use several times a day; be it to family, friends, customers, patients, or that really annoying person we all know and wish we could freeze with our imaginary super powers but instead we have to be grown ups and be polite to them.

How many of you are really ready though for the answer to this question? Which most of us have said because we either have to or with little meaning behind the comment. What if the answer isn’t the obligatory ‘I’m good thanks’ or ‘good thank’s and you?’ What would you do and how would you respond? What if the way you react to the non text-book “good thanks” could change the way that someone’s day has started out?

Well that’s what happened to me today while I was standing at the cash register at Officeworks.The Sales Assistant asked the man at her till “How is your day going sir?” and he replied with “Do you really want to know?” Que stunned awkward silence from the sales assistance who wasn’t expecting her question to go in this direction (she probably wishes she had a time machine so she could go back and just shut the hell up!) Luckily for her I was at the till next to the man and being the smarty pants I am (and a little nosey) I said “Oh oh I bet you wish you hadn’t asked that question, he might tell you now” – Now I said this in a very light-hearted way with a laugh in my voice and the sales assistance serving me picked right up on my remark and said “of course we want to know, we’re woman aren’t we?” – also said in an equally light-hearted way.

The man went on to tell us about his terrible month since separating from his wife and that his day had just gotten worse as because of certain things his wife wasn’t letting him have they’re two children aged five and eight for the weekend as agreed and was filing for full custody.

Ok, so at this point I felt like I was in the midst of a daytime soap and at any moment cameras would be fixed on me and someone would shout the words ACTION! That of course didn’t happen – much to my dismay; I’ve always fancied myself as an actress, mores the pity. What did happen though is that this man had three women listening to him as he told us about his crappy month and even crappier day who all Oh’d and Ah’d over him, gave him some words of encouragement and tried to make him laugh. As he left he said “Thanks ladies it’s the first time I’ve laughed all week.”

I must say I have to applaud this man for straying off course from the standard “Good thanks” and just saying what he rally wanted to say. There have definitely been days where what I’ve rally wanted to say is “How’s my day?, My dog and my daughter both decided to shit on the carpet, I’m bloated, I have a migraine because my daughter still wont’sleep through the night, I ran out of milk so I couldn’t have my morning coffee and you’ve run out of the toner I need for the printer, so all in all I’m having a pretty shitty (pardon the pun) day, thank’s for asking though.” The worst thing is how many times have you actually wanted to say “Do you really want to know?” or “Don’t ask it’s been terrible.” Do we ever say it though? No! Why? Because the reality is that we have been programmed over the years to give the polite answer and we think people wont really care and to be honest most of the time most people really don’t.

How different someone’s day could turn out if you did happen to get that person who strays from the fold and is honest with you and you in turn act in a friendly open and positive way. I’m not saying it’s going to change their life or anything but if you can lift one person up and make them laugh or smile or even lend an ear to listen to them for a moment or two then surely it’s worth the bit of awkwardness you might feel from not expecting the unexpected answer to your question. xx

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Judgy Eyes!

Judgy Eyes – First used to describe one of the woman on Real Housewives of Orange County – Currently being used to describe the older woman down at my local shopping centre – Judging me with her judgy eyes

Once a week LMM and I do the weekly shop, either on a Thursday or a Sunday. On these days we indulge in a bit of badness with either some Fit Chips or a Banana Smoothie and a Hot Dog from Wendy’s. Being the typical 19month old that LMM is I like to do this and sit on one of the benches as it’s easier to let her run around and not sitting in a café where she usually wiggles and worms about.

Sitting on our chosen bench and eating and drinking our Wendy’s and having a bit of a giggle while we’re at it, I see an older couple walk by, the woman looks at LMM and I and as she turns to her husband with her Judgy Eyes she says ‘That’s terrible that little girl is far to young to be eating that.’

I like to think that over the years I have learnt not to judge people and I definitely would say that since I’ve had my daughter I am even better than I was before, so I have little tolerance for people who can make a judgement on you and your child or family on the very small snippet that they get to see while you’re sitting on a bench in a shopping centre eating a hotdog and drinking a banana smoothie.

What this woman doesn’t know as she’s passing judgement on me and my daughter from her self-appointed role as judge and jury is that my daughter has an exceptionally well-balanced diet and everything she eats is home-made and always has been since her first home-made oats and fruit purée. Or that I’ve even started making my own snacks and biscuits so I know what LMM is eating (there have been times recently when LMM has been really sick and I have ended up feeding her anything I can get her to eat, but they are special instances and not the norm in our household.) This woman doesn’t know that my daughters daycare has a great chef who cooks nutritionally balanced meals all made fresh that day and planned out so that each food group is covered.

This woman doesn’t know that my daughter is loved more than anything else in this world, that’s she’s well taken care of and spoilt rotten. She doesn’t know that LMM has a mummy that spends hours keeping her mind stimulated with arts and crafts, play doh, colouring-in, painting, reading , singing songs, playing shop, playing with her babies going to Gymbaroo, swimming and very soon dancing. She doesn’t know that her daddy takes her to the park and plays ball with her and her puppy and sings row row row your boat on what seems like a loop (by the by, I hate row row row your boat now and I wish that boat would do me a solid and sink already!)

I’m just lucky this woman isn’t at my grandmas house or aunt’s house to witness LMM eating chocolate biscuits or ice-cream (isn’t that what grandmas and aunt’s are for to let the kids eat the things we won’t let them?) when we visit once every couple of months I may be locked up and the key thrown away.

More luck to my mother that this woman wasn’t at my birthday parties as a child as they would consist of fairy bread, party pies, sausage rolls, chips, lollies, cake, ice cream and the pièce de résistance lolly bags. Sunday night was the night when my dad would fill up the cars and he would always come home with our chosen treat. If you looked at this and passed judgement you would think all we ate was crap. The reality however was that my mum used to make fresh and healthy home-made meals, she would make her own bread, her own ice cream and we had a great diet.

So to the woman with the Judgy Eyes and misplaced and ignorant comment (even if it was just to your husband) please refrain from taking it upon yourself to comment on what I’m feeding my daughter. You have no idea what goes on in my house-hold and you cannot judge or comment when all you’re seeing is a snapshot of my daughters daily food in-take or our life in fact. Perhaps if fewer people took it upon themselves to comment or judge others parents wouldn’t feel the pressure they do today to always look like they’re doing the right thing. Parenting is hard enough without the JUDGY EYES and side comments so keep them to yourself or wait till you get home and have your say then xx

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Multi Masking

I just read an article in VOGUE about multi-masking which is the latest on trend beauty tip that we should all be incorporating into our beauty regime. 

Well I’ve always thought it, but now it’s confirmed I’m way ahead of my time…..19 years ahead to be exact. I’ve multi-masked ever since I started working for Clarins when I was 18 years old. 

Clarins used to have these amazing oils; (and they still do) Clarins Facial Oils come in Lotus, Blue Orchid and Santal. Back when I was working for Clarins when we did facials we would put the oil underneath a mask depending on what you were treating. My favourite used to be the Blue Orchid oil with the Clarins Moisture Mask on top. My skin would be plump, and hydrated and luminous. The great thing with the oils is that you can wear them to bed once or twice a week under your night cream for a boost and while you’re at it put some in your incense burner to make your house smell amazing. 

Clarins Blue Orchid Oil
Clarins Blue Orchid Oil

My other favourite was the Lotus oil with the Clarins purifying mask (Now it’s Called the Truly Matte Pure and Radiant Mask.) I used to suffer terrible acne  when I was younger my face used to resemble a bad case of the measles I would use the lotus oil and purifying mask to calm my skin down and take away some of the redness.

Today I still multi-mask; I still use the Clarins Oils but some of my other favourites are the Turnaround Instant Facial the Clarins HydraQuench Cream Mask. I also always use the Clarins Skin Smoothing Eye Mask (my saviour since I had my daughter) and lastly while it’s not very sophisticated compared to some higher end beauty products, I use the Proactive Skin Purifying Mask.

Clarins Hydra Quench Mask
Clarins Hydra Quench Mask

Let me tell you very briefly why I love these masks. I’m not going to go into a big spiel about the ingredients in them and so forth because I know that when I’m at the shops and the consultant starts going on about the Ginseng doing this and the Hazelnut doing that I kind of glaze over. What I want to know about is simple; what’s it going to do for me? What benefits will this product give my skin and ultimately the reason we want to use these products aside from a plethora of reasons such as to prolong ageing, and get rid of acne and dry skin but the end result is to feel good about ourselves.

So here it goes, I love the blue orchid oil especially because of the way my skin absorbs the product; after I take it off (sometimes I leave it on over night if my skin is feeling particularly dehydrated) my skin glows, it feels plumped and nourished like It just had a big drink of water. Add along side this the Clarins Hydra Quench mask and I swear you could enter a beauty pageant and wear no makeup and the judges would pick you just because of your ‘glow’.

When I was younger I suffered terrible acne, it was so bad that my aunt used to cry when she looked at my face. It was literally covered in pimples and it was red, raw and shiny. I couldn’t use a lot on my skin but I used to use the Clarins Lotus oil and the Purifying mask. It would sooth my skin, like putting an ice-cube over a burn taking all the heat out and it would help take away the redness. As I got older and my skin got better I did stop using the lotus oil and continued using the Purifying mask. I started multi-masking with the Clarins Purifying mask and the Clinic Total Turnaround Mask (now the Turnaround Revitalising Instant facial.

Clinic Turnaround Instant Facial Mask
Clinic Turnaround Instant Facial Mask

Using these two products together will leave your face feeling fresh, clean and sparkly – like shiny diamond dust (which is always how I think of the Turnaround mask when I apply it) sparkling on your face. Over the years I have tried lots of different masks but I always come back to these. Over the past couple of years I have replaced the Clarins Purifying mask with the Proactiv Skin Purifying Mask. Having gone through a spout of adult acne while on fertility tablets I used the Proactive range which saved my life to be honest and I liked the way the mask felt so much that I never stopped using it even after I stopped using the Proactive.

With any of these masks you can use the Clarins Skin Smoothing Eye Mask. If I feel particulary hideous I will put it on over my night eye cream for an extra kick, since I’ve had my daughter it’s made those late nights that little bit easier on my crows feet and the dark little sacks I’m sporting!

I know that in the next couple of years I’m going to have to swap these old faithful for more heavy-duty masks, masks that can keep my face in place and wrinkles at bay, but for now I love these masks and even on my worst day if I use these I end up feeling great!

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Mother’s Day xx

Roses are red violets are blue
The best thing that happened to me was you xx

Well, it’s my second mothers day today and I must say it is all together a different experience from last year.

LMM’s Daycare had a mother’s day morning tea on Thursday and I was treated to songs and pictures and a mother’s day cake (Michaela ate my cake, I only got a bite, oh well them’s the breaks when you have a child!) I left daycare on cloud nine. It’s been said before, but I will say it again, it’s the little things in life. Getting home-made pictures and a card from your child is better than any bought present (ok look if someone wanted to buy me an Island for mother’s day I certainly wouldn’t say no and it would definitely be very close to beating my daughters present, but not quite!)

First hand-made mothers day card from LMM xx
First hand-made mothers day card from LMM xx

This morning I wake up to mothers day cards and a family project for the day. To paint a picture for the wall together and then bake some homemade cookies. Now I’m not very good at the old baking thing, but I think I’ve picked up a thing or two from watching the UK’s Best British Bake off.

Flowers that will last forever :0
Flowers that will last forever :0

My life has definitely changed; I have immersed myself in being a mother and I love every second of it.

Is it hard? Hell yes, there are days I wander how I haven’t gone crazy and pulled all my hair out. Do I sometimes wish I could go to the toilet on my own, or do anything on my own? Absolutely; although there is something to be said about having constant entertainment free of charge with you 24/7. Do I get any sleep? No! I have learnt to go to work and get on with my day with as little as 2 hours sleep. I’m hoping a little Botox which is on the cards will remedy the circles under my eyes!

Regardless of these things it’s all worth it. The love you get from your child cannot even start to be explained in words. It’s in their smile, their laugh, the way they hold you when their tired or sad or crying. Or how when you say to them ‘Can I have a kiss?’ They pucker up their little lips and smack a wet one right on your lips and its the best feeling in the world.

When you here them say mummy (LMM sounds equally adorable when she calls out in her Little voice DADDY) your heart skips a beat and when you look at them and see how happy and truly loved they are you pray that nothing can ever take that away from them or you.

Happy mothers day to all the mummy’s out there. Cherish each and every day with your child (or children) and don’t let any opportunity to make them happy pass you by, because ultimately it will make you happy too. xx

It must be love, love, love xx
It must be love, love, love xx

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Perceptions….

I made a promise to myself, that I would not watch the Real Housewives of Melbourne. I don’t know why I bothered at all it was an empty promise, since I already watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta, New Jersey and Orange County. I said to myself though, “Aileen you need to draw the line somewhere it has to stop; how good can the Australian version be?”

Well three seasons later I’m hooked, line and SINKER! I will note here to the disgust of my partner.

What I love about all the Real Housewives naturally are the gorgeous clothes, perfect hair and makeup, the dinners and then the great getaways and amazing homes (To die for!). However what really get’s me is how the women are portrayed on the show. With some careful editing, a choice word here or there any of the women can be made to look like an absolute BITCH.

In the last couple of episodes of Season three of Real housewives of Melbourne, Lydia is the choice cut being backed into the corner. She’s made to look like she’s causing trouble, spreading rumours and vicious and malicious gossip. I don’t know if this is the outcome the network wanted but I found myself feeling terrible for Lydia. I wanted to scream to all the women through the T.V f..k off and leave her alone. Poor Lydia, you all spend your time f…ing bitching about each other and now you’re ganging up on her because she has done it (whether accidentally or on purpose.)

How many of you in your day-to-day life have been accused of saying something you didn’t say. Or perhaps you said something but it’s been twisted and it ends up at the other end of the fantasy land and resembles nothing like what you originally said. Or in my case the time where all I did was shake my head as the woman I was talking to starting talking about a woman we both knew and weeks later people kept coming up to me asking me how I could agree with what was being said (Excuse me I didn’t agree to anything all I did was shake my head.)

There is the odd occasion that someone might talk to you about someone you both know and you might talk about them to that person. It’s happened to us all. We’re not trying to hurt that person, or say anything maliciously we have just made a mistake and instead of saying ‘I would rather not say anything if you don’t mind,’ or cut off the conversation right away, we open our mouth and let things we shouldn’t have said come out.

In the last few episodes of the series Jackie who claims she’s a spiritual person, who talks to the Angels and the other side and is all about life shine, shine, shining (Shining out her butt as far as I’m concerned) starts to look like she’s taking things a bit far in her quest to out Lydia and wanting blood. Now obviously we only get to see what networks choose for us to see, so does that mean that the network want to change how we feel about Jackie? If that’s the goal then it’s worked; I looked at her in the last episode and thought to myself ‘your being so nasty, I’m pretty sure your angels wouldn’t be happy with you right now!’ Who knows next season she could redeem herself and I’ll like her again…fickle creatures arent we?

I am a sucker for the Real Housewives; I don’t watch to many other reality shows except for the Kardashian’s (I can hear the tut, tuts of disapproval and disgust, just like my partner.) Do these shows skew our perception of what is normal or what life is like? I don’t think that you could ever say that you would think this way of life is normal. The average person doesn’t go out and spend $150,000 on a piano (that would pay off quarter of my mortage….no jealousy here by the way!) or buy Jimmy Choo’s or Louis Vuitton luggage by the thousands. I also don’t think that my perception of this lifestyle is that because your wealthy you will be bitchy and argue and fight with all your friends. If anything these women should hold themselves at a higher standard and set an example for all the people watching, maybe they should put me on the show I’d be a great role model for these women. Ha ha only joking…..NOT!

Besides all of this though, I love nothing more than seeing what outfits the women are going to wear, where they’re going to go next and who’s going to annihilate who…..I think I have a wee nasty side! As my mum said to me when I sent her my draft to have a quick look-see at “The reality is every woman has an inner bitch waiting to get out and an inner diva just waiting to shine. That’s why we love these shows, so we can imagine ourselves acting out like these women, becoming these women.” These women’s lives are more than likely not perfect, but our perception of their lives from watching the show is that they are. Whatever way you end up looking at it, its great reality T.V that lets your mind dream that you too could have a wardrobe and a lifestyle like that (even if it is only for 50min.)

Oh and I just remembered, no judgement but I also watch don’t be tardy (I wish I knew how to put a little shocked looking emoji here for effect. xx

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He’s just not that….

I can see you finishing the title off in your head ‘He’s just not that into you.’ I first watched this movie when I was much younger and single. The first time I watched the movie I thought to myself, I don’t remember my mum ever telling me that a boy is mean to you when he likes you. I remember running through in my head all the conversations that I had with my girlfriends about boys and even then I don’t remember having them tell me boys are mean to you or ignore you when they like you. There might have been the odd girlfriend here or there that said it, but as a general rule not so much.

So my question to you is this, how right is the portrayal of the story line in this movie? How many of you out there grew up being told all these things about boys/men? I know I can tell you one things for sure when LMM is growing up and coming to me and saying mummy why did that boy push me, or mummy why did that boy say those things to me. I’m going to say because he’s a wee asshole! Honestly I’m only joking but in reality as a mum it would most likely be on the tip of your tongue to want to say something to that effect.

Instead I think I will say that some boys are just mean, but that they also don’t know how to express themselves yet (hopefully) and that as they get older these things usually change (for the most part).

My train of thought on this movie has definitely changed since having a daughter. I found myself thinking about the advice I want to give LMM on dating and relationships, here are a few thoughts:

* Don’t sit by the phone and wait for a man to call you, go out and live your life. It will definitely make you look more interesting than looking desperate as you lunge for the phone.

* Don’t sell yourself short, you have a lot to offer you don’t need to date the first guy that shows a fancy for you.

* Don’t string a guy along it’s not nice, men have feelings too and they too deserve to find someone who actually likes them

* Don’t play games (even if there are guys out there that do, not to look sexist; girls as well do play games, but for the sake of argument lets stick to men for now). If you like a guy call him, if you don’t then don’t call him.

* There are no rules any more, be yourself as long as you’re not hurting anyone.

* Trust your instincts, if you feel like somethings not right, it probably isn’t; but get proof first, you don’t want to look like a psycho!

* There are exceptions to the rule. Married men are out-of-bounds, but I do know women who have had affairs and then lived happily ever after with the other man. You can’t fight love I guess!

* You can’t force someone to marry you. NO one likes pressure or ultimatums. If they want to marry you, or have a baby with you they will. If you can’t accept this move on.

* Don’t analyse things too much… if a guy says he will call and then he doesn’t, f..k him, he’s the one missing out. Or you could call him and just say hi and test out the waters…..men can be shy too you know!

* Be careful with meeting someone over social media or dating sites. This absolutely terrifies me for my daughter when she’s older; especially after that guy on Facebook did that experiment with the young girls to see who would come and meet him after pretending to be a boy.

* Don’t date someone just because of their looks. There’s the scene in the movie where Anna a gorgeous blonde plays a game with Connor (who is madly in lust with her) where you can be two things: cute, sexy, smart or funny. He choses for her sexy and cute. Anna says no one wants to be all in one column, no one wants to just be in the looks column. That’s all he sees with her, just like Ben who has the affair with her. They never talk about her personality, just how hot and sexy she is. Looks fade my friend, there needs to be more going on than a rockin bod and a pretty face.

In the end of the movie Gigi ends up with the guy Alex who has fed her all the advice on men and their stance on dating women. Even though he likes to call himself a player, a no strings attached guy who tells it like it is, he protects her and nurtures her. He likes to call it telling it like it is, or some would say tough love, but honestly deep down from the word go there is something there. He likes her and feels a need to look out for her. Go figure you just can’t judge someone on their actions all the time.

There is so much in this movie that rings true. Dating is a bitch and relationships are hard. What you don’t need is people buttering over things to try and make you feel better. Sometimes a guy doesn’t call you because he’s a prick and he never intended too. Sometimes a man just needs to know that you’re not going to give him an ultimatum or push him into something he’s not ready for…..and then he asks you to marry him! People can be shallow and only want someone for their looks. In the end we all have to find our own way to get the relationship we want and all we can hope is that we have people in our corner giving us good and true advice and that we come out on top and end up with a WINNER!!

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Epic!

At precisely 5.09am this morning the 27th April 2016 my daughter LMM had an EPIC tantrum.

I’ve been told by many that it will happen; my aunts, mum and grandmas have told me the stories, friends have told me stories and the women at LMM’s daycare have told me stories. All the stories are of children having a meltdown over the silliest things imaginable you wouldn’t even rate it as being true…..An urban myth so to speak.

I’ve heard the tails of children melting down over the wrong bowl being given to them for breakfast, or they don’t like the way you brushed their hair or even just for looking in their general direction! 

It’s not that I didn’t believe the stories I’d been told; I have two younger brothers and I’ve seen my fair share of hissy fits. The reality is whether by choice or design (so that you procreate) you get a bit hazy on how bad it is.

Well, this morning I was catapulted back to reality with an all mighty WALLOP! Figuratively speaking of course, LMM isn’t big enough yet to batter her mummy!

I brought her into bed with me after my partner had gone to work as she woke up and wanted a bottle. I went to put her down like so many other times and BAAMM!!!! It started; a scream so piercing and so loud the actors from Scream would look like amateurs compared to my daughter. Then in the midst of the screaming there was the pillow moving, bottle throwing, dummy chucking and head shaking (cue an image of  the girl from the Exorcist…..minus the vomit!).

In between this there were moments of calmness and there were tears; and  while I was in utter shock and honestly had no idea how to handle this melodrama that was unfolding in front of me I had a moment.

A moment where I was in LMM’s head and the characters of Inside Out were controlling her emotions as they do in the movie. Anger had definitely played his part at the beginning, disgust had also played her hand as LMM threw the offending pillow out of her sight, sadness was playing out in front of me in that moment. Then I smiled (note here I didn’t say laugh, I was still in too much shock and disbelief to do that) because I realised that not only is that movie scarily funny and true but there was a light at the end of the tunnel and her name was JOY!

After 35 min it stopped and my daughter sobbed herself back to sleep. I prayed the neighbours didn’t think I was torturing LMM and I thanked the universe for giving me the strength to get through the ordeal without losing my patience or temper. 

LMM woke up as bright and chipper as always as if nothing had happened and all I could think as I smiled and laughed at her beautiful smile was thank you JOY!  xx

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Stains!

Gone are the days where my partner and I go out for a nice dinner, get dressed up, have a few drinks and finish off a lovely meal with my clothes stain free.

Yes you read that correctly I can no longer go out for a meal and come home stain free. Tonight is a classic example of stain envy for me. We’ve only been at dinner for 45 min when LMM gets salsa dip all over me, mashed in there with a wee bit of guacamole (after all you can’t have salsa without guacamole!).

As I go between the booth we are sitting at and the amazing play area they have for the kids I find myself checking out the tops of all the women walking past to see if they too have evidence of their children on them somewhere. Alas I’m alone, destined to trek the messy mothers clothes club solo. I find myself enviously looking at the mothers with clean clothes and quietly wishing I hadn’t decided to wear my pale blue denim and my white stripped top. I keep searching hoping to find someone in the same predicament as me, where we can nod and smile at each other telepathically say ‘it’s ok, don’t be embarrassed about your big salsa/soft serve stain, your still looking great!’.

Wow who am I kidding that’s as bad as my daydream where I win billions of dollars and marry Leonardo De Caprio, Chris Hemsworth or the new guy that plays superman. Lovely in my dreams but as likely to happen as me going out and having a stain free night.

Having a child has definitely given me perspective on perfection and beauty. Or really what I perceived to be perfection and beauty. Before LMM I was fixated, everything had to be perfect all the time; my hair, my clothes, my make up and so forth. Making sure that all these things were what I thought to be perfect helped me feel in control and beautiful.

Now I can 98% of the time genuinely say that when I do see a woman who looks perfect and stain free I’m ok with that, and I think to myself you look so pretty; good for you. Then I look at the happy smiling face of my daughter and I say to myself ‘it’s ok that your clothes are messier than your child at dinner time and that your hair now has some soft serve and what looks like could be a bit of tomato from the salsa in it.’ Then I put my jacket on, cover my stains where I can and then I lift my head high and confidently smile at people as I walk by.

Praying that there’s no chocolate on my butt that I couldn’t see and my partner didn’t think to mention as I walked on in front of him… Yes this has happened before, yeah I know right unbelievable! xxx

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