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Me and My Munchkin

Me and My Munchkin: August 2012

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Father's Day for the Solo Parent

Father's day is coming up, which for lots of fathers means a hot breakfast in bed, accompanied by some kind of power tool gift, or perhaps just some socks and jocks. Mother's day can be very much the same (if we're lucky!) but with some kind of new kitchen appliance or a new pair of uggies.

Solo parents means all rules are thrown out when it comes to Mother's and Fathers days. If the other parent is still even around, you need to decide whether you will do gifts, and how much you will spend.

We are about to come up to the 12 month mark of when Master A's dad and I split up. We split about 2 weeks before his dad's birthday, so I was happy to buy a copy of the new Big Bang Theory season on DVD for him. For Christmas we exchanged small gifts and agreed to keep exchanging gifts "from Master A" for things like birthdays, Mothers and Fathers days and Christmas.

I wanted to keep this up, to teach Master A about the importance of giving, and that Mummy and Daddy can still be friendly and do the right thing.

My birthday came next, and my present was nowhere to be seen. It came about 4 weeks later. Yes, I was a little annoyed seeing as I did make an effort to ensure I did the right thing and on time!

My birthday present from Munchkin this year. 4 weeks late but an awesome present! How did he know?
Mother's day came around, and I got a card. Nothing more, nothing less. It was at this point that I told my ex I would no longer participate in gift-giving. If he wanted a gift from Master A, his mother could organise it, and I knew that my Mum would do the same thing for me.

My cards for Mother's Day, including a handmade one from Daycare. Love this boy so much!
Now that Father's day is only a few days away, I have decided that my original wish of teaching Master A the nice thing to do is more important. I have bought a card, gone through hell to get Master A to do a painting for him, and will be heading to JB Hifi tomorrow to get a small value gift card to give him.

I must say that the thought that I am going to look like the bigger person is making me feel a little better about it (yes I know, vein!) but I have come to the conclusion that one of us has to teach Munchkin the right thing to do. It's a small present that hasn't cost me much, and I'm sure he will get a much nicer gift from his girlfriend's child, but it sends the correct message to Master A, and that is the most important thing.

Its Friday so I'm linking up with Bree over at Twinkle in the Eye for Flash Blog Friday...

...And Grace over at With Some Grace for Flash Yo Blog Friday!

Head on over to both and check out some awesome bloggers!

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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Dreaded Toddler Years

My boy at a happier moment!
Master A turns 2 next month. I'm having mixed emotions with that, torn between being proud of my big boy growing up, and sad that I'm losing my baby. Something that comes along with the toddler years?

The terrible 2s.

Unfortunately, we have already entered this phase, and I am already tearing my hair out over it! Master A started hitting a couple of months ago, and I was silly enough to think that he had grown out of it. Now that I'm older and wiser, I think he was just holding off to unleash it with the rest of the tantrum and sooking.

Ugh the sooking! You know the noise I mean. The real high pitched whine when you aren't doing what he actually wants you to be doing. Like pouring him breakfast instead of putting on his favorite TV show.

Mummy trying to calm the monster with some Hi5
The tantrums come along when I stop him from doing something. "No Kiddo, you CAN'T smack your toys on the wall". The tantrums seem so much more extreme now too! We have toys launched, stomping, limp bodies, screaming and tears, and lately Master A's started hitting himself in the head. All this because he's not allowed to pull the plates and bowls out of the cupboard.

Being that we have major renovations going on at home, he's been bored and put out of his comfort zone (as we all have) so the tantrums and whining have been much more frequent. Some days I swear all I hear is high pitched noises and toys being thrown on the floor!

Gone are the days when he used to listen and do what he was told. Taking him out in public is just not an option anymore. If I do take him out, he is strapped into his pram, and I use all manner of bribery to keep him quiet! I envy my friends with children the same age who are able to walk their toddler quietly into the shops and have them stand by their side the whole trip! It just seems so unfair!

Do you have a child who went through the terrible 2s?
How did you keep your sanity?

It's Tuesday so I'm linking up with Jess at Diary of a SAHM for IBOT!

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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Why do I Deserve Happiness?

I have re-written this post 3 times now. I just can't seem to find the words to say what I need to. I have been doing a bit of soul searching in the last few months. You may have noticed a bit of a pattern in my posts.

I am so happy with where I actually am in life, and this is a first for me. Sure there are a few things I would like to change, but the changes are on the way. I just need to be patient (totally not my strong suit!)

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I grew up with a low self esteem, I'm not really sure why. I have always thought that I am just not worth it and don't deserve happiness. I have never known what it is that I actually want and I thought I would never be happy until I got to where I wanted to be, so you can see my predicament!

It has taken me over 20 years to realise that I deserve to be happy. I am a good person. Sure, I still have those "I'm a bad Mum/friend/daughter/sister" moments, but they don't take over my life. I still get mother's guilt, but I don't let it make me think I am a bad Mum.

So why do I deserve happiness in my life?

I love my family and friends. I would do anything for them. I drop everything if someone's in trouble, or needs to chat. The same goes for my son. I clothe him, feed him, play with him, and I gave up work to stay at home with him when he was sick (this meant giving up finances, and the chance to get out of debt quicker to get my own place).

I am a good person in general. I will help strangers, I am never rude to people unless they are rude to me. I don't stick my nose into other people's business and I am all round just a friendly person. A bit shy, yes, but friendly.

I will work hard, especially when it's something that I love. My standards for myself are way too high, and I am working on bringing them down.

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I deserve happiness in my life. I am finally realising that, and making sure that I am putting the steps in place to be happy.

Have you ever suffered from a low self esteem?
Why do you deserve to be happy?

It is Tuesday, which means I'm linking up Diary of a SAHM for IBOT!

Make sure you head on over and check out some totally awesome bloggers!

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Thursday, 16 August 2012

Cutting the Emotional Clutter

I have been spending the last couple of months clearing the physical clutter in my home. I started a clean out that you can read about here. It has taken me a little longer than I had hoped, but slowly I am getting there. There is another kind of clutter that I hadn't really thought about until today, that is so much more important.

Emotional clutter.

I am carrying around grudges, hopes and wishes that will never come true, fears and regrets that I need to clear out of my life in order to live happily.

Here is how I am clearing the emotional clutter from my head.

1. Make a list.
Whether it's a to-do list, a to-call list, a to-buy list or a to-organise list. Get those things down on paper, and out of the never ending circle in your head.

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2. Clear out the drama.
If there is one thing I hate, it's drama. I know that I will always have some amount of drama in my life, and that's ok. I have, however worked hard to cut those people out of my life who just simply bring drama with them every day. If I can't cut them out (for instance my sister) I cut myself off from the drama. I refuse to converse about it and remove myself from the situation if I have to.

3. Leave behind the past.
There are people in my past that are best left there. I would love these people in my present and future, but for various reasons, I need to let go of them and leave them behind and move on. The same goes for situations that have happened. Leave them in the past. Don't keep re-living them.

4. Finish what you've started, or let it go.
I have some half finished projects throughout the house (and my life) that I am making plans to finish, or trying to let them go. The same goes for goals. They aren't all appropriate anymore, and I need to decide whether they are still goals of mine.

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5. Learn to let go of what you can't control.
This is something that I am terrible at, but I have made massive progress with in the last year. There are so many situations that I just cannot control, such as having to communicate with Master A's dad, or living at home with my parents. If you can't control the situation, what is the point in worrying about it? If you can't change the direction of the wind, adjust your sails.

6. Take control of the chaos.
When your physical environment is in chaos, you're likely to be stressed and exhausted. Put on a load of washing, sit down and plan out your meals for the rest of the week, make a start on that pile of paperwork sitting on your desk. Give yourself room to breathe. Sit down with a pen and paper and have a think about what it is that you need to be better organised with. For me it's daily and weekly routines. Everything is still a bit up in the air and it's making me stressed. Take control of the chaos, and feel better.

7. Eat healthy and exercise.
How guilty do you feel after devouring your third cupcake? You don't want that guilt. Eat healthy (with treats of course) and exercise daily. I only walk, but find it's a great time to let my mind wander, and the fresh air clears it.

8. Clear out inboxes, in trays and contacts lists
Go through your email and clean it out. Go through your contacts list and delete old and unwanted phone numbers. A big one? Go through your Facebook friends list and clean that out. People you haven't seen since high school that you only friended to have a bit of a nosy, old boyfriends you never talk to, that friend of a friend of a friend that you met that one time out at dinner. What's the point in seeing their day to day lives when you don't even know them anymore?

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9. Dream big.
Write down your hopes and dreams for the future. Make them attainable though. I certainly won't be putting down the hope that someone from my past will all of a sudden show up and want to be a part of my life again! I love doing this every now and then. Where would you like to go for a holiday? What sort of people do you want in your life? Do you like your career, or is it time for a change? From this, you can make goals. And that's where the fun begins!

10. If you have more emotional clutter than you know how to deal with, see a counselor.
Sometimes you just need to let it out. Counselors can be a great help, and they have been helping me get through my custody issues. Speak to your GP or ask around. Someone you know may know of a great counselor you can see.

So here I go, trying to eliminate the emotional clutter in my head.

Do you struggle with emotional clutter at times?
How do you deal with it?

It's finally Friday so I am flogging my blog over at With Some Grace and Flashing it at Twinkle in the Eye! Get on over and check them out!

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Monday, 13 August 2012

My Week in Pictures

Here's a little look into my last week via Instagram. If you have Instagram make sure you follow me @meandmymunchkin!

This was taken first thing in the morning while Munchkin was watching Hi 5 and waiting for his Dad to pick him up for the day.

#photoadayaug Day 6: Writing. I Have been out of school for a few years now, and my head is not coping! I am struggling to understand things so writing plenty of notes!

We had a little time before going for dinner so a trip to the park was totally required!

Oh what a day this was! After a day of tantrums I was stuck waiting in the car for the monster to wake up!

And just to top off this great day I dropped my phone in Master A's bath. Luckily I had just started running it and grabbed it straight out. There wasn't much damage, aside from my sound turning on and off as it pleases!

#photoadayaug Day 7: 8 O'clockI was in bed fairly early this night!

I bought this toy storage for Munchkin on Thursday and spent the afternoon putting it together and sorting his toys into it!

#photoadayaug Day 8: Glasses. A scruffy looking me with my sunglasses on.

#photoadayaug Day 9: Messy. Finishing off Master A's room.

#photoadayaug Day 10: Ring. The first and only ring I have ever bought myself and I love it!

#photoadayaug Day 11: Purple. I spent ages looking for something purple before I came across this on my DVD shelf. I love this movie!

#photoadayaug Day 12: Spoon. This is Master A's cutlery. I picked up a pack of 6 sets of knives, forks and spoons for $2 from Ikea. Bargain!

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Thursday, 9 August 2012

Cutting Back

I posted last week about about struggling to find the time to get everything done. You can find that post here. I originally thought it was because of my lack of time management skills. I now believe that it is because I have just tried to take on too much.

Between an ultra-demanding toddler, my new Tafe course, the blog, keeping fit, housework and still fighting a custody battle, my life is extremely filled up. Then of course there are family and friends. I want to see them, they want to see me, and it eats into more time. I never regret the time I spend with them. I love them all, but it just leaves me with less of it.

I have also recently started dating again (can I get a woop woop!) so this also takes time. But it makes me happy so it is not something I am going to stop.

I tried to keep going about it all, but found the leech hanging off me whilst I am trying to make up my spreadsheets was just too distracting. I am exhausted by night time and forcing myself to either write posts for the blog or continue on with study. All of my study is external and done online, therefor I have to do it all at home!

After spending the last 2 days thinking about what's really important, here's what I know:

Spending time with my son comes first. I am trying to get out and take him to the park more and play with him at home. He is the most important thing and everything else needs to fit in around him.

Next comes my course. It is going to take me years to get through the 4 courses I need to be fully qualified. This course is to get myself into a career that I'll love and to set me and Munchkin up financially. After that comes looking after myself. Exercising, going for a massage, etc. And then friends and family (and dating). If I don't continue to look after those relationships, they will die eventually.

Unfortunately I've decided my blogging is going to have to take a bit more of a back seat for a little while.

I will still be here!

I just won't be posting as often. Instead of 3-4 times a week, I will only be posting 1-2 times a week. Unfortunately as much as I love my blog, and my readers, I have to start looking after my stress levels and sanity. I do hope I still have some sanity left!

So please bear with me through these times. I am hoping that once I get into the swing of things and actually catch up on everything I am behind on (and repair some of the friendships that have been neglected in the last month or so) I will be back with full force.

This will be my last post for this week, so I will see you all next week! If you have Facebook make sure you like Me and My Munchkin via the buttons on the top right of the screen. I will be on there daily!


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Storing Birthday Cards

Last week I shared a photo on Instagram and Facebook showing how I keep Master A's birthday cards together. It got a bit of feedback, so I thought I would share it on the blog and show you just how I store old cards. I was originally going to use only ribbon, though I thought that would make it hard for Master A to look through.

So far I have the cards from my baby shower, and Master A's first birthday. When he has his second birthday in September I will do those cards the same way. All you need is a hole punch, album rings (pack of 5 from Spotlight for roughly around $3), your cards, and I also included the invitation from the party.

Hole punch each card and thread the album rings through the holes. I put the invitation on the front. Close the album rings and voila! You have a little book of birthday cards that your child can flick through when they want to. Couldn't get much easier than that! I also added some ribbon to the rings to make them a little prettier (yes, pretty for a boy!)

I keep them in a storage box from Ikea, and will continue to add to it over the years as he has more birthdays.

So that was my super dooper easy way to store old birthday cards, and it is much better than having them floating around a drawer or box, I reckon!

How do you store your children's birthday cards?
Do your children like to look through them?

Blogging this Tuesday and linking up with Diary of a SAHM

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Monday, 6 August 2012

My Week in Pictures

I thought I would share my Instagram roll for the week just been. I know how interesting it can be to get a little looksi into people's lives, so have decided to provide it for you! If you are on Instagram you can follow me at meandmymunchkin.

I was pretty stoked to find out that I have lost enough weight to (just) fit into a pair of old jeans. What makes it even better is that this is the 2nd pair of old jeans I have managed to fit back into within a week... I celebrated with a chocolate donut and a chocolate milk once the Munchkin was down for a nap!

On Tuesday Master A got quite sick. You know he's really sick when he just lays there and watches TV! Thankfully he's much better now.

On Wednesday I finally got my delivery of textbooks for my Tafe course. I am still trying to catch up on the work that I fell behind on waiting for them.

#photoadayaug Day 1: Outside. Master A was riding his bike around the front yard while I checked out the tradies next door, pretending to be reading at the same time!

#photoadayaug Day 2: One. These are the birthday cards from Master A's first birthday.

I went on a bit of a shopping spree for new clothes on Saturday, so for the few days before I cleaned out my drawers and wardrobe. This ended up being about double this size by the time I finished! Now I have all nice new clothes!

I decided to pick Master A up from daycare a little early on Friday, and go to the park on the way home. He had so much fun, I think I may need to do this a little more regularly!

When we got home he was allowed to put on Toy Story. Very excited little man!

#photoadayaug Day 3: Coin.

#photoadayaug Day 4: Somewhere I sat. This is the couch I park my butt on to catch up on True Blood!

#photoadayaug Day 5: Logo. I had not had Vanilla Coke in so long! It tasted so good!

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Friday, 3 August 2012

My (lack of) Time Management Skills

This is a totally unscheduled post, as I have not had the time to prepare for my scheduled post for today! If you follow Me and My Munchkin on Facebook, you would know that I have had a sick little Munchkin this week. And if you don't, why the hell not? Head on over and introduce yourself! While we're talking introductions, head over to a post on the blog that interests you and introduce yourself there, too!

Anyway, sleep deprivation and stress does a lot to my sanity and writing skills. It also sends me a little cuckoo and distracts me from the point of what I'm getting at.

The issue in question today, is time, and the fact that most of us mothers just do not have enough of it! Yes I know we all have the same amount of time. I have no less time than Tara over at Mum-ments, Grace over at With Some Grace, or even Katy Perry. But it really feels like I just do not have enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done.

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Picture this: a sick, clingy, sooky and cranky toddler (making you cringe yet?) add in 2 weeks of Tafe that I am already behind in thanks to a forgotten textbook they just happened to leave off the list, also don't forget the blogging (totally important, it is my me-time to connect with all you lovely ladies) and throw in the attempt at sleep for good measure. See now, I've already forgotten working out! All five of these things are important to me, more so than the housework, which also needs attending to through the week.

So what's a mum to do?

I have never been good at time management. Procrastination? I'm a master, and can teach you everything I know. I am so much happier sitting on Facebook, playing cars with Master A, coming up with a plan for the week that I so desperately want need to follow, than I am actually doing what it is that needs to be done.

I am also not so good at the balance thing. I tend to be a little one-sided. That is great when I'm watching the footy, but not so good when I have work screaming to be done, a child screaming for pain relief, a body that's starting to put on weight and a house that's beginning to look like a bomb site.

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I think that just maybe, it is about time I looked at my time management skills, and tweak them just a little so that I manage to get everything done. Please tell me that I'm not the only one that is feeling just a little like they're in over their heads and needs some kind of a wake up call to put it all back in perspective?

Well, I'm off to the Amazon e-book store, to procrastinate a little more by looking at books on time management.

How do you make sure that you manage your time effectively?
Do you manage to fit social outings in to your day?
How many more hours a day do you need?

Flogging my blog over at With Some Grace. Head over and check out some amazing bloggers.

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Thursday, 2 August 2012

10 Things to do at the Park

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It's no secret that kids love to go to the park or playground. Master A gets giddy every time we drive past a playground, so you can imagine his excitement when we actually pull up and get out of the car!

I am not such a fan of the park. I can usually put up with it for around 15 to 20 minutes before I start getting bored. This, of course is certainly not enough time for Master A to run off the endless amount of energy he seems to have.

I have put together a list of 10 things to do at the park, aside from simply playing on the playground. Some of these require you to take things along, like bikes or balls, others are easy enough to do without anything. Check out the list and try some of these things with your children next time you take them to the park!
  1. Take a footy or soccer ball to kick around
  2. Take bubbles - bonus being that there's no mess to clean up afterwards (seriously can't just be my child that makes a mess with bubbles!)
  3. Play chasey, or hide and seek (provided it's safe to do so at your chosen park)
  4. If there is a double slide, have races down the slide
  5. Take morning tea or lunch down and have a picnic
  6. Take some chalk and play some good old-fashioned Hopscotch!
  7. If you have older children, try them with a game of handball
  8. Have a treasure hunt! You could bring some toys of your own to hide, like dinosaurs or animals, or use nature and collect sticks, leaves, flowers, etc
  9. Bring along their bike, scooter or ride on car. Make an obstacle course out of the play equipment, going around it and weaving in and out. If you live within walking or riding distance, ride bikes to the park.
  10. Do some bird watching. Or more so, listening. Can you tell what type of bird is singing? Can you tell what tree it's coming from? Can you see it?
What do you like to do at the park?
Can you think of anything else to add to the list?

Flashing my blog over at Twinkle in the Eye

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