marble reward system

We’ve been having a bit of trouble getting to school on time this year.

Actually, ONE of us (who shall remain nameless) has been having a bit of trouble getting READY for school, therefore making it impossible for everyone else to get to school, and other various destinations, on time.  It has been going on all year and I am at the end of my rope.

So, after various (unsuccessful) attempts at rewards and incentive programs to improve school dressing times, we have now come up with the marble system.

Each little person has a jar or box with their initial stuck on it.  Something clear is great so they can see their progress.

marble rewards

We have collectively agreed on ‘areas for improvement’ for each child, and we also have a special jar for Daddy who is working on improving some of his ‘words’ 😉

Rather than rewarding them for general good behaviour (which we do ways other than the marble reward system) we are remaining focussed on just one issue per child.  We are currently concentrating on improving;

–          Eating all my dinner

–          Getting dressed and ready for school in a timely manner

–          Turning off technology the first time I am asked

Each time one of these is achieved by the relevant child, they get a marble.  When they reach ten marbles they get a reward of their choice – for us that is a particular (small) toy or book they have been wanting, or $5 to save towards something bigger they would like.

It’s simple and achievable, meaning everyone can maintain interest, including me.  I have to admit, some previous reward systems have fallen by the wayside as I have not been committed to enforcing or maintaining them!  Sound familiar?

This one seems to be working. We’ve actually made it to school on time every day since we started it.  Hallelujah!

best of both worlds?

Every year at this time, my business is quiet and a very dear friend’s Event Management company is super dooper busy.  Event Management and Incentive Travel is part of my background in my Old World, my “before babies” world.  So I don my heels and corporate frocks and shimmy into their office and happily soak up the dynamic buzz their team creates.  I love to dip my toes into that Old World and this week I belly flopped right on into the deep end, with a 5 day interstate conference.  Yep, as in another state.  On a plane.  Away from my babies.

But before you get too concerned for my welfare, I need to point out I was staying at Palazzo Versace Hotel.

versace collage

You see, the Old World is all about fancy hotels and terribly special events where, whilst I help look after clients checking every little thing is in order to ensure they enjoy an amazing and memorable experience, someone else makes MY bed each day, cooks my meals and even washes the dishes.  Um, yay!

versace room bed

If I play my cards right someone will even take care of the teeny tiny little pile of laundry I accumulate in this world where I temporarily live alone.

I love this world and I do often miss it.  I choose not to go back there permanently as I have a new life now.   A life in my New World.

The New World is all about our suburban home which is bursting at the seams with chaos and love, and more sibling arguments than I care to acknowledge.  It’s also decidedly unpolished.

No-one makes my bed in the New World.  I have to make it myself.  As a bonus, I also get to make three others.

I make my own dinner, rarely 3 courses but often with wine, and sometimes I feel I’m running an open all hours a-la-carte restaurant. Oh, and I set up the breakfast buffet every morning.    Guests can have Weetbix, Weetbix or Weetbix.  Don’t get me started about the lunches.

weetbix

Instead of the long, hot, uninterrupted baths I enjoyed in the Old World, I run bubble baths for others, and wrangle slippery little bodies that never want that bath to end.

No-one turns down our bed here in the New World, and our sheets no longer boast high thread counts. Instead, I tuck tired little bodies into beds, snuggling them under crochet rugs made by their grand grandmother.

jonty bed

The teeny, tiny laundry pile I create on my own is dwarfed within minutes by a mountain of muddy rugby socks, school uniforms and towels that never seem to find their own way off the floor.

As I flew home from the Old World to the New World yesterday I couldn’t help but reflect on how much I love them both. I think I am terribly lucky to literally enjoy the best of both worlds.

But for now, our Middle Size is turning 6 and because his Mum was busy in the Old World she hasn’t had time to bake so I am off to add smarties to the tops of 25 store bought cupcakes for him to take into his class.

cupcakesI am also going to do reading groups with him and his Kindy buddies.  Do you think anyone would mind me wearing my Versace slippers?

Do your old and new world ever collide?

playroom inspiration

I’ve been scouting around pinterest for a while now seeking inspiration for our new playroom.  Yup, call us crazy but we have moved all three boys into one “sleeping room” with the goal of giving them a dedicated play space in the other bedroom.

Here are my favourite inspiring images … you can find them all, including links, on my pinterest board “stuff for kids (home)” …

1. Loving a bit of blackboard action, although will need to stock up on dustless chalk to save my own sanity!

playroom blackboards

2. Gorgeous seating options – we currently have a day bed which will also serve as a spare bed for visitors and sleepovers. More on day beds later.

playroom seating

3. Another staple piece of furniture we have is the IKEA expedit bookshelf.  They are hard to beat when it comes to affordable, stylish storage for kids stuff.

playroom 123

playroom storage

4. Our littlest guy (2) is right into trains at the moment and we love the idea of having a permanent track set up for him (or at least a dedicated table for him to create, and keep, a masterpiece design).  This one is brilliant.

playroom train storage

5. And just for fun …

playroom fun

Do you have a dedicated play space or play room?  What are your ‘must have’ tips?

bye bye babies, babies bye bye …

Our two year old starting climbing out of his cot around Christmas time.  We realised a couple of weeks ago we couldn’t fight it any longer.  He was growing up, whether we liked it or not, and it was time.

Time to say goodbye to The Cot.

The Cot that has cocooned and served each of our little darlings during their babyhood.

jonty 60s in cot

It boasts distinct bite marks right along three of the edges where our first born used it for teething.  I remember being horrified at the time that The Cot was ‘ruined’ for future babies, as if they would care about glossy white paint.

Now I look at the chewed wood and remember three happy, healthy little babies.  The Cot is rich with family history and memories and I am going to miss it.

So we had a little farewell ceremony for The Cot.  Each of the boys brought along his favourite cuddly who had kept him company in The Cot during his time there.

boys in cot 60s style

So I am ready to say goodbye now.  It feels a bit like saying goodbye to my babies too as they all grow into boys.  But you know what that means?  BUNKS.  Oh yes, bunks.  That’s a WHOLE new story.  Stay tuned …

52. what a fab number.

image courtesy of pinterest.com

image courtesy of pinterest.com

I had a chat to my 7 year old yesterday about New Years resolutions and what they were all about.  I explained they are promises we make to ourselves to be a better person, to try the things we have always wanted to try, to help others and to strive for ‘better’ in general.

I also explained that the end of the year is a great time to reflect on who we already are and what we already have.

We have started our “grateful jar” into which we will pop little cards and reminders of special things that we experience throughout the year so we can look back and reflect on all we have to be thankful for.  Gratitude is something I see lacking in many kids these days so I am hoping this little project will help ensure mine have it, eventually, in abundance!

jar

You can start this project right now.  All you need is a jar, or a box and some paper to write on.  Easy peasy.

If you would like more inspiration about gratitude check out Maxabella Loves‘ 52 weeks of grateful.

Another little project the 7 year old and I have committed to is inspired by the 52 Brand New blog and involves trying one new experience each week, giving us 52 fab new experiences to reflect on this time next year.  We are working on our list now and I’ll be blogging about our adventures so stay tuned.

Thank you for following my little blog throughout the year.  It’s been fab to have you along for the ride.

Here’s to another beautiful, exciting, creative and adventurous year ahead for us all.

Happy, happy – to you and yours from me and mine. x

2013 let's do this

 

fab christmas idea #1

 

We made these little Strawberry Santas last year and they were SUCH a hit we thought we’d share them again this year.  Simply cut the top of the strawberry, cut a lid (the hat!) off the bottom, fill with whipped cream (or cream cheese, or crème fraiche) and add blueberries (or choc chips) for eyes.

Easy peasy food the kids can help you make and are sure to help you eat!

santa strawberries

image courtesy of veggie-wedgie.com

 

pay it forward – kmart wishing tree / salvos appeal

One of the charities we always support at Christmas time is the Kmart Wishing Tree /Salvos Appeal who help assist families in need over the festive period by, amongst other things, collecting donations and gifts for family members who may otherwise go without.

If you also like to support them and would like to purchase your gift from our little store, just shop as usual then use the promotion code WISHES on check out so you dont pay any delivery fee.  Be sure to include a gift message if you’d like one included.

We will gift wrap it, add in a little extra gift from us, and deliver it to our local Kmart store for you.  We’ll be doing deliveries weekly up until Christmas and will post photos here for you all to see.

There is no minimum order and no limit on the number of gifts we will wrap for you.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy. x

 

super mama strikes again

We have had a “textas-are-to-be-used-only-at-the-dining-table” rule ever since our last experience with a briefly unsupervised 2 year old, an Artline permanent black marker and a latte macro suede lounge.

Apparently that rule was broken today.  By yet another unsupervised 2 year old (younger brother of aforementioned unsupervised 2 year old) who I thought was angellically watching Play School with this middle size brother.

On the up-side, this one was, thankfully, only wielding a washable green marker and seemed intent only on graffiti-ing (is that a word?) his own body parts.

So given the obvious improvement in damage control (ie washable marker vs permanent marker, damage to washable little legs vs unwashable fancy-pants-lounge) I’m going to call this a win for my mothering skills.  OK, it’s a stretch, but I’m still callin’ it …