Wednesday, December 26, 2012

What would you do?

Christmas. It started out being the best day ever with, Max was sooooo excited that Santa had visited. But it ended in the most bizare circumstances, resulting in us driving three and a half hours back to Brisbane in the late evening (we got home at midnight).

Late in the afternoon (after we'd all had Christmas lunch), Max was in the pool with his Nona & Pop along with Sean's Aunt and Uncle. I was up in the house reading a magazine and the rest of the extended family were all taking a nap.

I could hear Max being silly in the pool and everyone laughing along with whatever he was doing. Then he started bawling his eyes out. Not that unusual, he was tired and full of sugar and he normally cries when he hurts himself (like most three year olds). I saw Aggie (Sean's Mum) bring him up the steps so I went out to give him a hug and find out what happened.

Between Max and Aggie I found out that Max had thrown a hard plastic toy and hit Sean's Aunt in the head (she was sitting right next to him). Her reaction was to lash out and hit him back. Hard, and in the throat. Max was completely inconsolable, Sean's Mum was so mad that she was shaking and I can't even begin to describe what I was feeling.

I woke Sean up and he was gobsmacked. Once he understood what had happened he was furious. Sean and I handle things very differently, I was crying and yelling and shaking and ready to fly off the handle, but Sean was quiet and still and the most angry I have ever seen him. We could not believe that his Aunt had hit Max. Not smacked (which would still make me angry anyway), but she had reacted in anger and hit him.

Aggie wanted me to go and speak to her straight away, but I knew if I did I would lose my temper and say something I would regret. So we handed Lincoln (who was sound asleep) to Aggie and took Max out for a drive to get some ice cream. Once Max was distracted Sean and I had a chat about what we were going to do. We decided that I would let Linda know that we were sorry Max hit her with the toy, but that her reaction was way out of line and that she was to never lay another hand on him. Then we were going to pack the car and head back to Brisbane (unless she decided to leave, then we would stay).

We went home and let Aggie know what we were going to do. She immediately started crying because she loves Sean and our kids more than anything else and didn't want us to leave.

I called Linda aside and started off by apologising for Max hitting her (to be fair he threw a toy that accidentally hit her, but I was trying to be nice seeing as I was about to give her a piece of my mind). She mustn't have been able to tell how furiously angry I was because she tried to hug me and say that she forgave him. I started to lose my temper at that point, but tried to hold it together. I stepped back and told her not to touch me and that I wasn't finished. I said that she had no right to hit my child and that there was absolutely no excuse for what she had done.

She exploded and started yelling at me that he had hit her first and that I was doing a really bad job of raising Max. I absolutely LOST MY SHIT. I screamed at her that she knew nothing about raising a child (she and her husband chose not to have children so that they could focus on being buddists*) and that hitting Max like that was unforgivable. She reacted by saying that she had trained kids at karate and knew more about children than I did.

I don't remember exactly how things went next, but she stormed out of the room yelling that everything was always about me, and I tried to follow her (whilst yelling at her), but Sean held me back so I couldn't. (I'd already asked Sean's brother to take Max outside to play so thankfully he didn't hear or see any of this).

I cried and vented to Sean for a few minutes and told Aggie that we would be leaving (she was crying even more by this point), she told us that she would ask Linda to leave instead. We took both kids this time and left the house for 45 minutes so that she could pack her stuff and go.

When we got back her car was still there so Sean went in to see what was happening. He came back out ten minutes later and said that she had decided that seeing as she'd done nothing wrong(!!) she wasn't leaving. Sean and I agreed that we would just pack up and go. That process took a good couple of hours because Max had a million Christmas presents spread around the house, Sean's Mum was crying and begging us to stay, Sean's grandparents were trying to smooth things over and convince Sean and I that we could all stay and forget anything had ever happened. At one point Sean's Mum asked her to leave again, but his Grandma told her to stay (I think).

Eventually we had everything packed up and we got in the car and left.

I still can't believe how it all happened. Nothing like this has ever happened in either of our families before. In our family no one is violent, no one has ever hit anyone, something like this is completely out of left field. Sean told me as we were driving home that his Aunt had said to him that she hadn't meant to hit Max as hard as she did. Sean said to her that she should've hit him at all and she again responded by saying 'he hit me first'. And Aggie told me that the Aunt thought she was justified in hitting Max because she felt that he threw the toy deliberately and with malice. She could not see that she had done the wrong thing... Unbelievable.

So we're back at home, Max is sad that Christmas is over, Sean's Mum is still devestated that we left and Sean and I are still reeling.

Most bizare Christmas ever...

(*I don't know much about buddists, but I don't think they're supposed to hit three year olds.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Little Look Alikes

Oh hi, remember me? Once upon a time I used to blog here...

Things are a little crazy round these parts at the moment. I haven't wanted to write a post because things aren't going as perfectly as I'd planned. Lincoln is full on. He's adorable and precious and demanding and gorgeous and completely full on. After the easy run we had with Max it's really hit me for six.

Sean suggested I write a post about it (after all isn't that what bloggers do...). But I'm not sure if I can. I'm really struggling at the moment, I have too much on my plate and I'm not enjoying myself. I was totally unprepared for a baby who doesn't settle, cries for hours on end, likes to scream for long periods of time between midnight and five am and has a love/hate relationship with feeding.

Today I've put my shops into holiday mode and plan on spending the next three weeks solely focused on my family. Hopefully that will help make me feel a little more zen :).

In the meantime I thought I would share some happy snaps of my gorgeous little look alikes.  I can not get over how different my boys are, yet how similar they look.

I still have lots to share, Link's birth story, all the DIYs from Max's party and some more Christmasy stuff. Hopefully I will be back with all of that soon :).

Monday, December 10, 2012

9 Handmade Christmas Gifts

Today I am teaming up with some of my all time favourite bloggers to bring you 9 gorgeous handmade Christmas gifts. These are some seriously talented ladies and I think you're going to love what they've come up with!  Scroll down past the links to see my little project and then have a look at all the others. So many inspiring ideas!!


9. Personalised Memory Matching Game from Max & Me

For my handmade gift I whipped up a little game of Memory Matching for Max. He has a great memory and loves playing these types of games, so I think he will absolutely love this little gift.

To make the game I printed out two identical photos of each person in Max's extended family. Then using my cricut I cut each photo down to a circle.

Next up I punched out another 24 slightly larger circles of white card stock and then another 24 (slightly larger again) circles from some scrapbooking card that I picked up at spotlight.

I layered the circles and stuck them all together to make the matching cards. So easy!!

I finished up by decorating a little round kraft box with some card & twine and I added the letter M (M for Max's Memory Matching) to the top of the lid.

Sweet and simple, I can't wait to play with Max once he's opened it up on Christmas day!

Now tell me, do you include handmade gifts each year at Christmas? What are you planning on making this year?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

DIY Christmas Ideas + A Giveaway

**This is a sponsored post for 3M via Digital Parents Collective
As always, all opinions are my own.**

I love Christmas and I absolutely love decorating for Christmas!! All year round I pin ideas and count down the days until I can crack out the decorations :).

This year I was planning a really rustic and nature inspired Christmas, but with a new baby, a full on three year old and my little shop keeping me busy I ended up with a mix of last years beachy decorations and some new (handmade) rustic ones. The end result is a fresh, fun and laid back Christmas style.

The biggest change this year is that I let Sean and Max decorate the tree. Those of you that know me well will know that is a *really* big deal. I'm normally an absolute control freak when it comes to decorating! They did a really good job though and watching them work together to decorate the tree was absolutely priceless.

You might notice the shell and starfish garland from Max's party is still hanging along the window. It looked perfect with the blues, whites and silvers of the Christmas tree so I decided to keep it up. I hung it using the small 3M command clear hooks. I love that they're completely clear (including the pull down tab), when you stand back you can't even see the hooks, so the focus stays on the garland.

My favourite decoration this year is a rustic burlap and linen wreath that I DIYed. I've been wanting to make one ever since I saw this post, and I'm so glad that I finally got around to it. The wreath makes me smile every time I walk up to the front door! It was super easy to make too.

I started out with a 15 inch foam wreath form, some soft burlap, off-white linen, scissors, hot glue and a paint-brush.

I cut my fabric until little squares, mine were each about 4cm square.


To make the wreath I folded each piece of fabric over the end of the paintbrush, added a dab of hot glue to the end and then poked it about one cm into the wreath.

Then I kept going until the entire wreath was covered (with a few breaks along the way to feed Lincoln, my very hungry 5.2 kilo monster baby!!). I love how it turned out!

To hang the wreath I hot glued a long ribbon onto the back of it. The using a small command clear hook (upside down on the back of the door) I looped the ribbon up over the top of the door and then tied it to the hook. Once I was happy with the height it was hanging at I added a sheer silver ribbon over the top of the hook. The 3M hooks are absolutely perfect for using on my big timber door, when it's time to take the wreath down the hook comes off cleanly without taking any of the finish with it. An absolute must in my opinion... I cannot imagine having to re-stain the door, it would be an epic task!

To finish off my decorating I decided to tackle another DIY that I originally saw on pinterest. Using my 3M hooks I made a string tree in our (previously very bare) entry way.

At the point of each 'branch' I used a small command clear hook and then I hung each of the decorations using the decorating clips. I filled the tree with a collection of small baubles and handmade decorations. It was so much fun to make and I love how it fills up my entryway with festive cheer! This is another DIY that I wouldn't have considered with out the 3M hooks, I love that I can put the decorations up without a single nail hole in the wall. Once the 1st of January rolls around you won't even know the string tree was there!

For the DIY decorations I used a combination of these pinwheels that I first saw over at Ella Claire, these ornaments that I debuted over at Chibi Run and the star topper is just made from cardboard, scored and folded and then spray painted silver.

So there you have it, my Christmas decorating done and dusted!

The 3M hooks that I used for my decorating are available in a range of sizes suitable for different weights – including the Mini, Small and Medium hooks as well as the Utensil and Decorating Clips priced from $6.99 (RRP). To see how easily they come off the wall check out this quick 1 minute youtube video (it even has a super cute decorating idea included!).

You can buy command clear hooks at all leading supermarkets and retail outlets across Australia. Or.... you can enter my giveaway and score yourself one of 5 prize packs valued at $36.35 (total value of over $180!).

All you have to do to enter is tell me in 25 words or less what your favourite style of Christmas decorating is. The winners will be drawn at 5pm on the 13th of December and entry is open to all Australian residents. The winners will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond, so please make sure your comment links to your email address (or include it along with your comment).  {This giveaway has now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered, the winners will be announced shortly.}

Good luck and happy decorating!!

(If you would like to see my decorating from previous years you can click here, here and here.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Loops n Swoops + A Giveaway!

**This post is sponsored by Nuffnang - All opinions are mine (and Max's)**

There have been a lot of knocks on the door over the last couple of weeks from the postie and various couriers. Almost every single time it's been a little gift for Lincoln, which is amazing and sweet and kind and very much appreciated, but it was starting to rub a certain toddler up the wrong way!

The other day when a courier arrived with a huge package Max asked the usual question 'it's for me Mumma?'. You should have seen his reaction when I said yes, he couldn't contain his excitement, it was so adorable! There may have even been some box hugging involved :)

Once we opened the box and Max saw that it was the Fisher Price Little People Wheelie Loops ‘n’ Swoops Amusement Park he was even more excited. Now that he's three he is all of a sudden crazy about cars and trucks and ramps and all things like that.

We got started on putting it together and I have to say it was probably one of the easiest toys I've ever assembled. I'm talking '7 days post c-section and it only took me 15 minutes' easy. Got to love that!

Max couldn't help himself and started to play with it before I'd even finished setting it up!

At just over 2 feet tall it's the perfect height for Max, he lined up the little cars and trucks at the top before sending them all shooting down the two-sided ramp in quick succession. It came with two new amusement park themed wheelies (four wheelers, perfectly sized for little hands!), once he saw them Max realised straight away that were similar to the ones he already had and went and grabbed them all from his room :). The more the merrier I guess!

Once I showed Max how the cars would go down the (gravity defying, 360 degree!) loop he was all over that too. He even made up a little song that I had to sing every time before he would push the button to send the car down the loop. Seriously, there is nothing sweeter than a toddler's imagination! He worked out pretty quickly that you can lift the ramp at the end of the loop so that the cars do a jump at the end as well.

After we'd played with it for about 20 minutes, I suddenly remembered (baby brain ftw) that it took batteries (3 AAA) and popped those in. Max loved the 'muse-lic' and sound effects and lights that starting playing as the cars went down the ramp. It was like I took his favourite thing ever and then added chocolate to it, toddler heaven!!

Later on in the afternoon Max's cousins came over and started playing with it as well. I loved seeing how they all had different favourite things. Ava liked the bottom level where you can drive the cars up to the ticket booth, fun-house mirror, food stand and lift gate, Emmy loved taking the little colourful flags and moving them around to different parts of the amusement park and Max just kept on sending those cars down the ramps!

Days later Max is still loving it. We have it sitting in the lounge room and whenever I sit down to feed Lincoln Max will happily play on the floor. He's started building block towers at the end of the loop the loop for the sole purpose of watching the cars crash into them. Boys, huh!

Now for the best part, just in time for Christmas I have one Little People™ Wheelies™ Loops ‘n’ Swoops Amusement Park to giveaway! All you have to do is leave a comment telling me why your little one would love their very own one of these.

The giveaway is for all Australian Readers and is open until the 14th of December. Good luck!! (Full terms and conditions are here.)

{This giveaway has now closed. A big congratualtions to the winner - Rachel T. I hope you're little guy loves this as much as Max does!}

Max's Fish Party

On the weekend Max turned three and we celebrated with a Fish party. Max has been looking forward to his party for months, it was so good to finally be able to share it with him!

We had half a dozen of his little friends come over for the party and we celebrated with games, lunch, present opening and cake.

I decorated using streamers, a shell and starfish garland, coffee filter number three, and a burlap birthday banner. I'll put up a tutorial for the birthday banner and number three soon :).

For lunch we had chips, fish shaped crackers, sandwiches (a mix of vegemite, jam, chicken, ham and egg), fruit and vege sticks in dip. Max loved that the jam and vegemite sandwiches were cut in circles and has decided he wants all his sandwiches cut that way from now on!

For the games we played pass the parcel and went fishing in Max's paddling pools. The fishing game was heaps of fun and I'll post the details about that later too. Surprisingly pass the parcel was not so much of a success. We played it last year at Max's 2nd birthday and it went really well. This year there were a few tantrums over who's turn it was, whoops!

At least it was good practice for present opening time. All the kids chipped in and helped Max open his presents :).

Desert (always my favourite!) was a chocolate mudcake with 'fish scale' icing, fishing rod cupcakes, jelly, lollies, marshmallow pops and plain milk. The cake took me 5 hours to ice, but was totally worth it! I'll post more details about it soon.

Last up we had fishy party bags for the little ones to take home.

I feel like I can breath a sigh of relief that it's all finished now, I'm so happy that Max had such a great day :).