Tuesday 29 October 2013

Wiggle on outta here please!

They should have done a Thelma & Louise...

Is it just me, or is there something seriously wrong about The Wiggles: the next generation? I turn on the TV and there they are, smiling and singing away like maniacs - nothing has changed except there's now a girl, two new dudes, and the smug, cheshire cat grin on veteran blue wiggle's face is more disconcerting than ever. What I want to know is, why do we even need a brand new Wiggles outfit? Aren't they done already?

I must admit, I've never been a huge fan of The Wiggles - not back when they first started 22 years ago, and not even now that I've got children myself. I have always admired their genuis megabucks global brand, but the show itself? Irritating as hell. And now the cringe factor is completely maxing out.

I was intrigued when one of them (yellow wiggle) retired a few years back due to health reasons and thought that might be the end. But no, they just replaced him and got right back in that big red car. Then when the original guy gets better, they do the old switcheroo and the old band's back together again. Ok...fine. But soon the inevitable kicks in, these old fellas have got to ease up on the all-singing, all-dancing action or they'll be wiggling their way into wheelchairs. So everyone bows out...except good old blue wiggle (aka Anthony Field). No coincidence that he is actually the creator.

I can understand why he wouldn't want the cashcow to tip over, but was the answer really to assemble a new team around him? He's suffered from mental health issues himself, so what's to say he's not also going to need a timeout soon? He could have easily continued on as the mastermind cheque-collector behind the scenes of a new act, or better yet, canned the live shows and stuck to bombarding kids with other Wiggles merchandise instead, like CDs, DVDs, games and lunchboxes. Maybe revamp their cartoon?

The Wiggles are like U2 - they've been going forever, have so many fans and continue to make shitloads of money. So they don't quit - even though maybe they should. I guess the proof is in the kids though - my boys don't really dig The Wiggles (thank god), but I know a zillion other kids do. So if children still want it and it makes them happy, well, I'm sure they're gonna keep on chugging.

Back on the new members though, a girl Wiggle in the new team is of course a very smart move for their fanbase and creates endless brand opportunities. The young dude, meh whatever, but the other older guy? Say whaaaat? Looks so wrong and out of place (I don't care that he's been involved with the group for a while, get that old face out of my face).

I'm just glad my kids aren't that into them. For a really clever, wonderfully musical, educational and super cute show - forget about hot potatoes and get into small potatoes instead.

Are you as creeped out by the new Wiggles as I am?
photo credit: OneTigerFan via photopin cc 

Friday 25 October 2013

Are godparents relevant anymore?

Godfather? Me? Now that's an offer I can't refuse.
Traditionally, the role of a godparent was a religious one. Faith abiding adults were assigned to children to be their religious guides in life and help them gain a greater understanding of God and his ways (hence the title). These days? It's simply about choosing friends or family members you want to be involved in your child's life. Something didn't sit right with either option for my husband and I, and as a result both of my boys still don't have godparents yet.

We did get them baptised (being Anglican myself I was very keen on this and luckily my non-religious husband didn't object), however unlike Catholic ceremonies, we didn't have to choose godparents straight away (or at all for that matter). So after much deliberation, we decided to take the option of putting the jobs on hold, because we just didn't feel comfortable with who to pick. Here are a few reasons why.

God ain't that cool no more
It's quite hard to find openly religious people nowadays (at least with Christianity anyway), and even though I have my faith I'm not a weekly churchgoer. So even if we had selected someone steeped in the ways of the church to be a godparent, the likelihood they would have been amongst our immediate network of friends or family would have been slim. It also would have felt a bit hypocritical (given my slackness on the church front), and the relevance for our children as they got older would have been questionable.

It's quite a big ask when you think about it
I'm a godmother twice over - to one of my nephews and also the daughter of some close friends (who both also have other godmothers and godfathers in addition to me). I was extremely honoured to be asked and I know I'll always have a presence in these children's lives. I do however have friends who  have admitted to me they find being a godparent a bit stressful trying to remember birthdays and other important occasions, and they feel guilty if they haven't checked in on their godchild for a while. Kind of makes you wonder, do some people actually see it more as a burden than a blessing, and is it really just about giving presents?

What if you choose the wrong person?
Life can go in all sorts of directions. People can move away or become estranged, like what happened to a friend of mine. Her godmother was an aunt by marriage, but after she split from her uncle she never heard from her again. There's also the chance that whomever you pick might not be that keen for the task; or for one reason or another, in time they cease to be acknowledged as the godparent (which is what sort of happened with my own godmother). In many cases then you get an absent godparent, which begs the question, should you have bothered appointing them in the first place?

Family is wonderful, but...  
I did seriously consider making my two sisters the godmothers of my boys - they're amazing aunties and family do tend to stick around! However, they're already such huge presences in my children's lives, and always will be, so at the time we didn't feel the need to give them an additional title just because of formalities.

In summary, the godparent conundrum is something my husband and I discussed endlessly ever since I was first pregnant. It was worse than picking our bridal party because a wedding is a one-off event - godparents are (generally) for life. So to try and shed some light on the matter at the time, I asked around at mother's groups and playgrounds and got quite a variety of answers.

Some people had chosen godparents as a necessity because they were baptising their children to ensure placement at a Catholic school; others had chosen friends who they wanted to make feel important or included (such as those without children themselves). A bit like Lady Gaga being the godmother of Elton John's son - are they really close pals or was that just some crazy PR? Who knows, but at least old Reggie wisely chose someone younger than himself...

In my delving I also came across people who chose godparents despite not having a baptism (which to me kind of makes the title a bit odd); and some parents who mistakenly believed their appointed godparents would be the guardians of their child if anything unfortunate should happen to them. This is of course incorrect (unless they've been officially written into a legal will), however I imagine would have made the task of picking the right person even more intense.

And here we are. Two baptised children and no godparents...yet. My husband and I decided before our first son's christening that we would like to select godparents for our children, but we didn't want to force the job on anyone. So we came up with a plan which was to wait a few years and see who naturally took an interest in our children's lives, or was a good role model and a regular presence. Now that some time has passed we do in fact already have a few ideas, and when the time is right, perhaps we'll appoint some godparents after all.

Godparents - important or trivial? Let me know your thoughts...

photo credit: BFLV via photopin cc

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Time travelling without moving...from the couch

Hoverboards - just do it.
My husband and I recently watched the movie Looper. You know, that slick time travel flick that came out last year, where Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a mob-hired hitman who whacks people sent back in time from the future, which is all fine and dandy until he has to 'close the loop' and kill his future self (Bruce Willis)?

I was so pumped about watching this film, such an exciting and interesting story premise. Great actors too and it looked visually fantastic from the trailers. As far as those things went, it didn't disappoint. Where it did suck massively however was the plot - it didn't make any bloody sense! Forget about 'closing the loop,' the writers just left a giant piece of untied rope dangling for viewers to bend into some kind of vague explanation for themselves on what actually went down.

Where was Doc Brown and his blackboard timelines when I needed him?! The time travel aspects of this film were purely bogus - which is fine if you're Bill & Ted, but not suitable for this action thriller. It was ANNOYING. And such a waste of what could have been a brilliant film.

Sure, I knew going in it was a time travel movie (which means I should have left common sense at the door and enjoyed the ride), but I felt like the writers were simply lazy and didn't bother trying to make the story even half believable. And for that reason, I just couldn't shake their dirty, loopy timeline from my mind.

Left feeling pissed off, it made me think about all the other time travel movies out there which ARE really good. And there are heaps.

Time travel is super tricky to get right I know, and even the best in the genre have lots of mistakes. But they can be easily forgiven if the plot generally seems plausible (unlike Looper), or it's a crazy comedy where mistakes doesn't matter (the rest of the film of course has to be great too).

In my opinion, time travel movies should only fall into two categories:

1. Feel-good comedies where it's all just a silly, fun romp and plot sense means jack; or

2. On-the-edge-of-your-seat dramas or thrillers, where some serious shit goes down (as it should - because time travel in reality would be complicated, full of sacrifices and not so excellent)

So get your flux capacitor out, because here are my picks of top time travel flicks:

Back to the Future trilogy
Ah, the motherload of time travel entertainment. Simply amazing film-making here in all aspects, and so enjoyable you never get tired of watching it, no matter how old you get. I'm not even going to bother summing up the plot because if you haven't seen it or at least know what it's about, well quite frankly I don't know how you're alive right now. Also has the best time travel method in any movie by far.

Twelve Monkeys
Bruce Willis doing time travel as it should be done - with class AND intelligence. Oh, and with Brad Pitt, acting all cray cray. In the future a disease has devastated the world so Bruce is sent back in time to collect information on who might have caused it so the big wigs can prevent it ever happening. Weirdly wonderful, exciting and even tugs the heart strings.

Two words - f#cked up! This is a low budget indie about some ordinary dudes who are pretty smart so they invent a time machine, and things go really, really wrong. With no-name actors and little effects, it makes the story insanely realistic.

The Butterfly Effect
Ashton Kutcher does serious - and it works! A guy works out that the memory blank spots from his childhood are actually windows in time he can revisit via his journal. He of course goes back to try and change the past for the better, but instead makes things worse - again, and again.

The Door
Not to be confused with a bunch of other movies with the same title, this is a German film in the same league as Primer - squeamish yet thrilling to watch. After the death of his daughter, a successful artist's life goes down the toilet, but after finding a mysterious time portal he gets a stab at a do-over. Soooo unique, deliciously eerie and twisted.

Hot Tub Time Machine
A bunch of dudes (why is it always men going back in time?) get in a hot tub, get drunk and wind up back in the 80s. Good times and hilarity ensues, with some feelgood, life improving stuff thrown in. Enjoyable popcorn viewing.

What's your favourite time travel movie?

photo credit: Phantom Leap via photopin cc

Friday 18 October 2013

Dagnammit - mumma's gonna get s**t done!

But ARE these Darth's favourite? Damn it!

One of my biggest gripes with life is that there's never enough time to do all the things I want (and need) to do. On top of being a mum, running the household and working from home; I'm always juggling a bunch of different projects, so it frustrates the hell out of me that I don't have more time. I was thinking about that this week and trying to work out how I could sneak more time into my life when the answer hit me - be more decisive.

I recently worked out I spend at least 14 minutes each week deciding what to cook for dinner (that's only for my husband and I, not what the kids eat), and that's just the tip of the iceberg. For some reason I'm pretty good at making big, important decisions quickly - but when it comes to insignificant, minor stuff? I'm a class-A shocker.

I'm one of those annoying people in restaurants who always makes the waiter come to me last because I need more time in case I order the wrong thing and have food envy. I can also easily spend at least 10 minutes weighing up the pros and cons of one washing detergent over another; I always spend ages deciding what to wear every time I go out somewhere other than the shops or kindy, and sometimes I even spend a good 5 minutes deciding what to write on one measly Facebook comment.

Get a grip! Imagine if I just cut the crap and made faster decisions on these unimportant things? I'd have so much more time!

Excited by my new idea for stealing minutes and hours, I hit the google machine this week to find out the best ways I could put my new decisive plan into action.

There was, of course, an abundance of advice out there, with most of it geared around people who aren't naturally confident and never take action on life-changing decisions. This isn't me - as mentioned before I'm pretty good at putting my mind to things and making stuff happen, but annoyingly, I completely suck at all the tiny bullshang.

The good thing about small decisions is that they're usually not significant. Even so though, I don't want to be rash. I want to make quick decisions that are still relatively smart. The info I found often applies to both small and huge decisions, but the nuggets I took away with me are focused purely on how I can pick up the pace on all the small stuff, which I'll now be attempting to incorporate into my busy life.

So here are my compiled top tips and goals for making quick decisions:

Be organised and plan ahead
A know a guy who grew up with the same weekly dinner menu his entire childhood. Monday was spaghetti, Tuesday was steak and veg... you get the idea. Sounds mental, but man I bet his mum had some serious spare time up her sneaky sleeves. I did do a meal planner for a while but it dropped off for some reason, so it's time to bring it back. Don't think I can do a set weekly menu for life though, I'll stick to planning each week out on the Sunday night prior. Takes 5 minutes and saves so much time in deciding what to cook, cuts down on trips to the shops, saves money and reduces food waste. Booyah! I'm sure there are a heap of other things I can get more organised about too, like saving online grocery lists instead of doing new ones from scratch each time, and deciding what to wear to an important function in advance.

Don't sweat the small stuff
I tend to way overthink small decisions when there is absolutely no need to. Ridiculous. Apparently this is a syndrome of being afraid of making the wrong decision. Will my life be ruined if I choose Chinese over Indian takeaway and it ends up not being what I actually felt like? YES! Well, no actually. I don't even want to think about the amount of time I've deliberated over what to order in. Mental. Most decisions for small things are a fleeting moment and gone so quickly they're forgotten in no time at all. So why take so long to make that choice? No more!

Forget perfection and love my choice
No one can make the right decision every time. Well, at least quickly anyway. So I need to forget about striving for perfection (especially as these decisions are so minor), and just get on with it. And when the decision is made, I need to accept it and enjoy it. No regrets or lamenting - wastes too much time! 

Chop chop - put a deadline on small decisions
Don't allow myself to mull over or dwell on small decisions, just decide already and move on! If I need to, I should give myself a very short deadline. i.e. menu selection - max 5 minutes! Because small decisions should not be put off, they should be made NOW.

Limit my choices
Last year Barack Obama announced he was only going to wear blue and grey suits from then on so he could focus his "decision-making energy" on more important stuff. Smart move. What choices could I cut down for myself? De-cluttering my wardrobe and kitchen pantry would be a start; deciding on the brand of toilet paper we're always going to use, and reducing my pile of unused lipsticks and glosses to one or two would also be good. I'm sure there are a zillion more things if I put my mind to it.

Go with my gut
If I pulled out the black dress first, chances are I'm going to come back to it again after I've been through 20 other outfits, because I initially picked it for a reason. Instinct is almost always right so I shouldn't ignore it.

Trust experience
If I've faced a small decision before, I should recall what I did last time. Did it work? Was it right? If so, then no brainer. Stick with what I know and let history repeat. And if it's a decision for something I haven't experienced, like choosing a new hairdresser, I shouldn't go blind but instead ask a friend who might know a good place nearby. I actually did this recently - massive time saver.

Live in the present
Never lose sight of being present and living in the moment. If I'm sitting at a restaurant huddled over a menu for half an hour, I've missed out on some great conversation with friends. And for what? The prospect of the perfect meal choice? Time is money, and it's also life. I don't want to waste either.

My decision to be more decisive is purely driven by a desire for more time, however making fast, intelligent decisions is definitely a good habit to get into. For starters, in a work capacity decisive people are more respected and followed, leading to faster career progression and a more enjoyable working situation geared around the decision maker. Basically, being decisive can make sure you get what you want out of life and in my case, get more shit done. Amen to that.
Do you sweat the small stuff? What tips do you have for being more decisive?

photo credit: coleypauline via photopin cc



Tuesday 15 October 2013

...and I'm feeling good

Some of you might remember my article a little while ago about a low-chemical diet I went on in an attempt to discover a food intolerance I thought I might have (here if you missed it). It's been several months now so I thought I'd give you a little update on how it all went down.

In short, it was a real a-hole.

I hated every second of it - not being able to eat or drink hardly anything; using special products for everything from moisturiser to detergent; and avoiding tons of other stuff like cooking fumes, smoke and even fresh flowers.

Despite this I followed it religiously for a month even though it was really hard and I was the crankiest person on the planet. I even made it to the first challenge - introducing one food chemical group for a week after the full-on restriction diet. But that's when I gave in. It was simply not worth it.  

I would have stuck it out if I'd felt amazing, but I didn't. I actually felt way worse on the diet than I did previously. Even the dietitian was confused as to why I wasn't feeling "the best I'd ever felt" and suggested I take a break if it was affecting my life.

It was - I had one very upset husband and I'm sure the children suffered as well. I never realised just how much what you eat (or don't eat) can affect your mental wellbeing. So I put the hunt for the culprit chemical on ice, and at this stage I don't see myself returning.

The main reason? I actually feel pretty darn good right now (not counting the 24-hour food poisoning / gastro I had on the weekend). I've hardly felt sick or bloated at all since coming off the diet. Who knows why but I'm riding it at the moment. Perhaps a monthly detox from all chemicals (natural and man made) was exactly what I needed to set my body back on track?

I'm eating what I want again, I feel good and I'm happy. So was my diet a big waste of time? Well on the plus side I lost a few kilos, rediscovered foods I hadn't eaten for a while, learned some new recipes and became more aware of certain processed foods which contain heaps of bad chemicals (prompting me to now make more things from scratch like pastry and breadcrumbs).

I also became more interested in the different types of diets out there and eating for healthy living - if you're interested you can read a bit more about that in an article I wrote for SheSaid here.

It's very likely I might start feeling sick again soon and won't be any closer to working out why, but for now I'm going to live a little while the goings good. Hey, at least I can smell the flowers again!

Ever done the low-chemical diet? How hangry did it make you? 

photo credit: Victor De la Rocha via photopin cc    

Friday 11 October 2013

I'd like to thank God and...

...Down to Earth Mother - for the sweet shout-out also known as, THE LIEBSTER AWARD!

Being pretty new to this whole blogger shang, I'd never heard of this award until my favourite go-to greenie, Jo from Down to Earth Mother (she gives awesome eco-living tips for busy mums), slapped one in my virtual face. Huzzah! Aw shucks, thankyouverymuch.

So what the hell is it? Turns out it's an initiative which started in Germany a while back where bloggers help other bloggers reach more readers - can you feel the love yet? No coincidence that 'liebster' translated means sweetest, kindest, most favourite, beloved, liked above all, etc. (blush).

In accepting this Liebster Award I'm to: write a post answering the 10 questions asked by my nominator, list 3-5 blogs I feel also deserve to be loved up Liebster style, give them my own list of questions and link the hell out of everyone.
Basically it's like 'Pay it Forward' the movie, but in blog world. And speaking of that freaky-looking child star Haley Joel Osment, if you're wondering what he's up to now then this is your lucky day cos' you're in for one KER-AY-ZEE treat. Forget about dead people - I see chest hair! Here you go... WARNING: you can never unsee this.

Alrighty, if you're still with me and not passed out from shock after seeing 'The Sixth Sense' kid all manned up, then let's get down to business.

Here are my answers for Down to Earth Mother:

1. What are three things even your readers don't know about you?
I was on a TV game show once, I like my son's smurf figurines more than he does, and I wish I was a kick-ass breakdancer.

2. Are you a one-book-at-a-time kind of gal or do you have three on the go?
Definitely one at time - what is with you people who read dozens at the same time? Just finish one already and then move on!

3. What gets you out of bed in the morning (literally)?
My one year-old calling out for me from his cot as he jumps up and down shaking the bars.

4. What gets you out of bed in the morning (figuratively)?
Living another wonderful day with the hubby and chuckleheads (and furball).

5.  Best food experience ever?
Toss up between what was possibly the world's most expensive steak at the world's most expensive hotel (the Burj Al Arab in Dubai), and great eggs benedict whenever I have it (which is all the time - because I live for that dish).

6. Favourite country and why?
Australia of course, that's why I live here. Sure it's got flaws but the way of life is second to none, the people are awesome and we're far away from the rest of the crazy world.

7. Why would you make a better PM than Tony Abbott?
I wouldn't - I'm a shocker with politics. He might be far from ideal, but at least he's got about 20 years on me in the game.

8. What's the greenest thing you did this week?
I went to Coles with a gigantic bag of plastic packaging, wrappers and bags for their RED Group plastics recycling bin.

9. What would you tell your 15 y/o self?
Go hard on your dreams no matter what anyone says, and don't put them off for down the track because you'll never have as much time as now to create them and develop your skills.

10. What will you tell your 15 y/o daughter?
I don't have a daughter (we have two sons), but if I manage to convince my husband to have a third child and it happens to be a girl, well then I'd have to say "You're one lucky young lady!"

Now here are my nominations - blog your hearts out people!

The Dave & James Blog
Glamour Coastal Living
Lia Halsall 
JDZ Designs
The Purple Notepad

And if any of the above wish to do the whole post/question thing, here you go guys:
  1. What was your last dream about?
  2. If you woke up tomorrow and were 8 years old again, what would you do?
  3. One Direction - awesome or shite?
  4. What are your favourite tracks you're listening to right now?
  5. If you could have one superpower what would it be?
  6. What food do you hate the most?
  7. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
  8. Cats or dogs? Pick a side.
  9. If you could have your time again, what profession would you take?
  10. Aliens - real or not?
Thanks again Down to Earth Mother - you rock!

photo credit: Robert S. Donovan via photopin cc

Tuesday 8 October 2013

The secret weapon every parent should remember

Help me it's stuck on One Direction!

Being a parent is bloody hard - no major revelation there. I've written about it quite a few times, anyone with kids themselves knows it, and even those who have only witnessed the crazed zombie look in parents' eyes in supermarkets also have a pretty good idea. Advice for struggling parents is everywhere you look - some of it great and some pretty average. But there's one very simple survival tool which doesn't get talked about that often, yet it's something I pull out multiple times a day. And that's music.

Here are 10 ways in which music helps me through the many challenges of having toddlers and makes me a better parent:

It helps me get stuff done
Singing to my one year-old when he's having his nappy changed often means he stops wriggling, I don't have to get cross and he doesn't try to smear poo everywhere.

It makes them eat their food (mostly)
When music is on at dinnertime the kids are often so distracted they actually eat their food instead of picking at it, throwing it or demanding something else I'm not going to give them.

It creates happy and peaceful atmospheres
Singing or playing music in places like the car, during bath time, or generally around the house puts everyone in a good mood and often diffuses tantrums and fighting (a friend of mine swears by Mozart for calm, peaceful playtime - I usually opt for fun, upbeat tracks).

It stops me boozing...kind of
Putting on the iPod for some celebratory tunes as it nears the end of the day usually delays me reaching for that beer or wine (but not by much)! 

It burns off energy
An after-dinner family disco in the living room is a great way to wear the kids out before bed (plus helps me zap a few calories while I'm at it and is lots of fun).

It buys me time
I can't tell you how many times I've been running late with making dinner or stuck in traffic, and turned a potential children meltdown into a sing-a-long by busting out something like 'Old MacDonald.'

It teaches them things
Songs are awesome for helping them learn things - and not just the alphabet. They can improve their memory, vocabulary, interaction and listening skills; and teach them pitch and rhythm. My husband and I also get our guitar out and let the kids strum the strings while we play, so they understand where music comes from. 

It makes life more fun
Having music playing when I'm doing chores makes them way more enjoyable and me a less cranky mum. I also sing a 'Good Morning' song when they wake up each day which gets us all off to a slightly brighter start.

It makes me feel sane
One of the favourite things my husband and I like to do is watch music videos on Foxtel on Saturday nights - who needs to get a babysitter and hit the clubs? The coffee table is my dance podium!

It makes life more beautiful
Hearing my eldest sing a song back to me, or cuddling my youngest who touches my face while I sing lullabies to him before bedtime is simply magical.
Music is such a simple way to bring more ease and fun into parenthood, and it doesn't have to be all Wiggles and Hi-5 either - my kids mostly listen to whatever I want to and they love it. So next time there's brown stuff literally hitting the fan, before you completely lose your mind, just hit the play button. Jimi Hendrix was on to something when he said "Music is my religion." I think all parents should follow suit - immediately.

Is music your parenting survival tactic? 
photo credit: superUbO via photopin cc

Friday 4 October 2013

Back off hair! You're hurting my eyes

Things were getting a little hairy down at the pool

I took my eldest son back to swimming lessons last Sunday after a six month hiatus caused by his previously incessant toddler meltdowns in the pool. He thankfully got right back into the swing of it and had a ball which was a huge relief (fun times are here again). I used to take him early on a Friday before my husband went to work, and my other son I take mid-week when the eldest is at kindy, so the weekend swim was a new thing for me. The first thing I noticed was that I was one of the only mums (being a Sunday obviously more dads are able to get involved). And the second? Hairy backs. Everywhere.

Now, I've seen a lot of male hairy backs and shoulders in my time, but usually on overweight, older gentlemen on the beaches in the Greek Islands - not belonging to youngish, good looking, fit guys down at the local swimming pool. I was immediately distracted by this apparent wookie invasion and my head started buzzing with questions.

Do these guys know their backs are really hairy? Of course they do - they're all married or have partners who would surely tell them...wouldn't they? So why don't they care - do they think it's sexy?  And most importantly, why haven't they done anything about it?!

Luckily my husband doesn't grow unsightly hair on his back, but after seeing these chewbaccas in the pool I was curious as to what he would do if he did have a back rug thing going on.

"Get rid of it" was the reply - ah, just what I wanted to hear. We didn't discuss exact methods of hair removal, given there was no actual need to get de-fuzzing. I was just glad my husband was up for it, if and when the need arose, because if not I sure as hell would have been sorting out that situation myself. The Midnight Waxer has kind of a nice ring to it don't you think?

Given the amount of hair removal women are required to do in order not to frighten small children or be repulsive to the opposite sex (not to mention all of the other beauty regimes), I don't think it's much to ask that men keep at least one area of their bodies neat and tidy.

So why all the hairy backs then? Maybe these guys were between waxes, or being working dads have no time to get to the salon, but let me put it this way - if I sauntered into the pool with more bush spilling out of my cossie than a 70s porn star and Leo Sayer's head tucked under each armpit, you can be sure people would have something to say about it.

As a mum I know how hard it is to stay on top of personal grooming, but almost all beauty salons are open on weekends and Thursday nights. That's when I have to go so why can't dads? Or if that's too hard, get some wax strips from the supermarket and let your partner go all Karate Kid on you.

All of this back hair musing got me wondering if society had decided male hair removal was a thing of the past and I just didn't know it, so I asked my mate Caroline Maine from Laser Clinics Australia to get to the bottom of my hairy questions. Here's what she had to say:

"We do actually get quite a few men coming in to treat their back and shoulders. A lot come in of their own accord, but we also see many first-timers initially accompanied by their partners - so perhaps they're dragged here by them!"

Ok, so far so good. Tell me more.

"Laser is so quick and easy, and not as girly as say waxing is (certainly isn't as painful), and I think guys feel quite comfortable being treated in our clinics as they're not as 'pretty' or 'fluffy' as traditional beauty parlours."

Yep I know, it's too easy. Keep it coming.

"So in short I would say that back hair is most definitely out, and since it's now possible and affordable to remove it permanently, there's no excuse to sprout any back fur this summer."

Ah, my fears put to rest. You heard it here fellas - smooth backs are where it's at. Now go and get rid of that hair! 

Are you or the male in your life a chewie?

photo credit: Courtarro via photopin cc

Tuesday 1 October 2013

I spend a total of one month every year...in the kitchen

As most readers will know, I'm a stay-at-home mum to two young boys aged 16 months and about to turn three. Only the eldest goes to day care and he's only there twice a week. I also work a bit from home, run this blog thing and do creative writing in my 'spare time'. So what does this mean? In a nutshell - I'm permanently stressed, surrounded by chaos, never have enough time in the day, yet am constantly showered in love.

Ok, and what does this really mean about my day-to-day life as a mother? Well, I've been thinking about this a lot lately and I reckon the easiest explanation is to just quit the jibber jabber and break it down in simple figures.

So here's what being a parent to two toddlers means to me right now in terms of numbers (note all figures are calculated on averages, naturally):

  • 30.33 - how many days a year I spend in the kitchen (at least 2 hours a day - no wonder I get nothing done!)
  • 50 - the amount of times I say "no" every day
  • 35 - how many minutes I spend a week looking for misplaced water bottles (that's over 1.25 days a year!)
  • 24 -how many dollars I spend weekly on tantrum diffusion or bribery (including toilet training treats) - that's $104 a month!
  • 5 - the amount of times my youngest tries to rip my nose off daily
  • 40 - how many minutes each day I spend singing
  • 4 - the amount of times I have to rescue the cat daily from extreme hugs, tail pulling and being sat on
  • 28 - how many minutes I spend a week stopping my kids from touching technology devices and electronic equipment
  • 14 - how many loads of washing I do a week
  • 10 - how many times I want to scream each day
  • 0 - the amount of sleep-ins I get a week
  • 8 - the number of beds I make each day (when there are only 3 beds) 
  • 2.33 - how many hours a week I spend putting away toys and books (equates to over 5 days a year!)
  • 14 - how many minutes I take each week to decide what to cook for dinner (that's deciding only, not cooking, buying ingredients or cleaning up)
  • 5 - the number of children's poos I clean up or assist with daily
  • 1.5 - how many hours I spend a week stacking and unpacking the dishwasher (that's 3.25 days a year)
  • 40 - how many minutes a day I spend watching children's TV
  • 42 - the amount of times a week I don't get to go to the toilet by myself
  • 15 - how many times I laugh out loud each day
  • 100 - how many cuddles and kisses I have every day with my children

What do your numbers look like?

photo credit: mikek via photopin